Thirty-eight rebels of outlawed rebel group ULFA surrender in NE India
By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury NEW DELHI, Jan 24 (KUNA) — As many as 38 insurgents from outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), surrendered before the Army at Baksa district in India’s Northeastern state of Assam Thursday, ahead of Republic Day celebrations on January 26. The group of ULFA cadres, led by Nayan Kakoti, laid down their arms before Lt. Gen. BS Jamwal at 21 Mountain Brigade Headquarters of Indian Armys Red Horn Division, Press Trust of India reported.
The insurgents surrendered 27 pistols, 18 grenades, 22 detonators, 30 kgs of explosives and 150 rounds of AK-47 live ammunition.
Speaking on the occasion today, Lt. Gen. Jamwal said the Indian Army was trying to bring back the rebels to the mainstream as insurgency would not resolve any issue. Assam’s Police Chief RN Mathur, who was also present on the occasion, said that the surrender would encourage other rebels to return to the mainstream.
ULFA is waging an insurgency since 1979 to create a “sovereign Assam ” carved out of India . It has little public support in Assam and most of its top leadership is reported to be based in Bangladesh and operating from there. ULFA is also alleged to maintain links with Pakistan‘s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).
Leading US think tank Stratfor, few months back, in a report — “India: ULFA Abandons Peace Talks” — had said that ULFA was keen to work with groups like Bangladesh-based Harkt ul Jihadi Islami in India’s Northeast and has begun to outsource terror operations.
Speaking on the insurgency situation in India‘s Northeast here today, a senior Home Ministry official told KUNA, “The region is no stranger to banned armed groups, but ISI’s designs in the region is a concern for us. Nearly 20 insurgent groups from Northeast have come closer to the ISI. It was disclosed during the interrogation of an ISI operative, who was arrested by the Assam police recently.” “Available inputs indicate that some Indian insurgent groups active in the northeastern region have been using the territory of Bangladesh, and have links with Pakistan’s ISI,” Shriprakash Jaiswal, India’s Minister of State for Home had said in Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Indian Parliament) on December 5, 2007.
The Indian police have from time to time claimed that ISI was involved in many explosions in the country. Police asserted that it had enough proof of involvement of ISI in the July 2006 blast in a local train in India‘s financial hub Mumbai, which killed nearly 200.
The ISI is also blamed for masterminding explosions in many other cities of the country including Hyderabad, Lucknow, Sri Nagar, Malegaon, Varanasi, Guwahati and Imphal. (end) dr.
KUNA 241553 Jan 08NNNN