Guwahati: The army, deployed in Assam's troubled Kokrajhar district, has started an operation to seize all illegal arms and ammunition there, informed sources said on Saturday.
"The army has started an operation in the district today (Saturday). The operation will continue till all the illegal arms and ammunition are seized in Kokrajhar," said a highly-placed source.
The sources indicated that similar operations might also be carried out in all the areas of Bodoland Territorial Areas Districts (BTAD) and in Dhubri.
Assam's opposition All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) had demanded that the central as well as the state governments take steps for seizure of all illegal arms and ammunition in BTAD for establishing lasting peace in the area where clashes between Bodos and Bengali-speaking Muslim settlers had led to 95 people being killed and over four lakh people displaced.
AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal had also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and demanded that the BTC council be dissolved as it had failed to provide security to the non-Bodos living in BTAD and that all the illegal arms and ammunition be seized.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had earlier also asked the police and security forces deployed in the violence-hit districts to seize illegal arms.
Police said automatic firearms have been used in the last four to five days of the violence in three districts.
The four BTAD districts - the Bodo heartland of Assam - had been a hotbed of militancy earlier.
While the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) outfit has been disbanded and its leaders now run the administration in the four districts, many of its members are reported to possess illegal arms, which they did not deposit while surrendering.
Similarly, the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) now has two groups -- one group of surrendered militants who expressed their willingness to sit for peace talks and the anti-talks faction, headed by Ranjan Daimnary, which also reportedly possesses a lot of illegal weapons.