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Assam puts Islamic groups under scanner fearing fresh violence

Fearing new waves of violence in Assam post-Eid, the state government has put 14 Islamic groups under the scanner.

According to a report published in the Hindustan Times, the Centre has identified 14 groups in Assam and five in Manipur as possible riot mongers who might incite extreme mob reaction and lead to fresh violence after clashes last month left 78 dead in Bodoland, which is made up of four districts in western Assam.

The move comes on the heels of the mass exodus of residents of north-eastern states from cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune, following rumours that they might be targets of a backlash for the riots in Assam.

A north-eastern man tries to board an overcrowded train. Reuters.

Among the organisations under watch in Assam are the Muslim Security Council of Assam, United Liberation Militia of Assam and Islamic Liberation Army of Assam among others.

The outfits put under the scanner in Manipur are Islamic National Front, Islamic Revolutionary Front and other groups.

While on one hand Pakistan is being blamed for spreading panic and inciting fear among the north-eastern people by circulating morphed images on the internet, loathing and anger among the fighting ethnic groups in the north-east has probably not subsided yet.

The report quotes a Assam state police officer saying,"The undercurrents of anger are very strong in minority areas, and we expect the worst."

The Centre has also reportedly directed the state to probe the funding resources of the outfits and whether they have liaisons with other insurgent groups like the United Liberal Front of Asom (Ulfa).