A yoga session at the camp.
(Photo: Special Arrangement)

About 250 kilometres west of Assam’s capital, Guwahati, is a nondescript location in Dhubri, not far from the state’s border with Bangladesh. It witnessed unusual activity last month when 240 young men assembled for a training camp.

But this was no ordinary camp. The sessions almost resembled a commando training course, except that there was no actual firing from weapons. And it was being conducted neither by the police nor the armed forces, but by the Rashtriya Bajrang Dal (RBD), which is a branch of the Praveen Togadia-led International Hindu Parishad.

An activist of the organisation who attended the sessions said that the aim of the camp was to “prepare for the dangers from the rapidly increasing population of Bengal origin Muslims and to thwart their plan of capturing political power in Assam”.

The sessions included lessons on close combat tactics, martial arts, basics of handling small arms, yoga, survival in hostile conditions and ideological orientation lectures. A senior functionary arrived from the organisation’s headquarters in Delhi to supervise the programme, besides a host of retired government officials who lent a ‘helping hand’ to manage the sessions.

This story was originally published in thequint.com . Read the full story here