GUWAHATI, July 19 (Assam Tribune): The anti-talk faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has started using members of Manipur-based militant group PLA to indulge in acts of violence in Assam, particularly in the upper Assam districts and the district police forces have been alerted to keep a close watch on the situation as the group may plan to indulge in major acts of violence in the run up to the Independence Day celebrations.
Highly-placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that the ULFA anti-talk faction recently managed to send a group of around 17 members to India from the bases in Myanmar and according to reports available with the security agencies, eight members of the group are cadres of the PLA. Sources said that the group entered India and is now believed to be somewhere in the Mon district of Nagaland looking for an opportunity to enter Assam.
Sources revealed that the group , which is reportedly heavily armed, has been given specific tasks of hitting public sector installations including oil installations. The members of the group have also been asked to ambush security forces if possible. About a month back, a 30-member group of the ULFA and a handful of PLA cadres were sent to India through the Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh with the mandate of indulging in acts of violence in Assam. But due to tight security measures, the group could not do much damage, but some members of the group are still in the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border areas looking for an opportunity to strike.
The problem that the police and security forces are facing now is that most of the cadres are new faces and they are not known to the forces. Moreover, the surrendered militants and members of the pro-talk group also do not know the new cadres and it will be difficult to apprehend them if they are not caught with arms or explosives.
As per information available with the security agencies, Paresh Baruah, the commander in chief of the ULFA, who is maintaining a hard line on the issue of talks, has been initiating steps for reorganizing the outfit after the pro-talk group headed by chairman of ULFA, Arabinda Rajkhowa has started the process of talks with the Government of India. As many as 120 cadres have been given promotions in the outfit recently and he has also set up a Military Mobile Headquarter (MMHQ) in the Taga area of Myanmar.
Sources said that the anti-talk faction of the ULFA recently managed to recruit around a hundred youths, particularly from the upper Assam districts and senior members of the outfit including Nayan Medhi, Rajiv Das and Akan were given the responsibility of recruitments. The new recruits were taken to Myanmar bases for training and few of them are in the two groups sent back to India for indulging in acts of violence.
Sources said that another hardcore militant Drishti Rajkhowa is believed to be in Garo Hills area of Meghalaya and though he has been given the responsibility of collection of funds in the districts of Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Dhubri and Bongaigaon, he would have to compete with several other militant groups to boost the coffers of the ULFA in the districts where the outfit does not have much presence.