Itanagar, Nov 22: Living up to its motto of 'Friends of the Hill People', the 19th Assam Rifles (AR), stationed at Khonsa under Arunachal's Tirap district, has launched a drive against ultras, suspected linkmen and sympathisers in the district.
According to official sources here today, area domination patrols, search parties and mobile patrol bases had been established in the entire district covering Khonsa town, Deomali, Borduria, Kaimai and far-flung villages of Pongchau on the international border.
On November 16, AR personnel arrested one Hanjam Loham, a linkman of NSCN(K) at Kanubari. He had recently served extortion notice to villagers at Loksim.
In the past months, the AR apprehended linkmen of underground outfits from Khonsa, Longding and Kanubari and handed them over to police, sources said adding that the paramilitary force during its sanitation drive had interaction with the people and government officials and advised them not to pay heed to any extortion notices.
The AR officers interacted with the chiefs, gaon buras, anchal samiti members and zila parishad members to identify the suspected linkmen, middlemen and sympathisers of underground elements. Such sustained drive had increased the credibility of the security forces and the locals, sources said.
House-to-house search was carried out in Pongchau and during their interaction with the people, it had been revealed that the situation was peaceful and unnecessary propaganda was circulating elsewhere, the sources added.