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Ulfa in revenge mode
Published on 12 Nov. 2009 12:43 AM IST
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A group of newly trained Ulfa cadres have been asked to enter Assam and launch attacks to avenge the arrest of militant leaders Chitrabon Hazarika and Sasha Choudhury, intelligence sources have revealed, triggering a security alert along the Indo-Myanmar border. A source said radio intercepts over the last few days suggested that a group comprising about 25 cadres from the 28 battalion had been asked to break up into smaller units to enter Assam. “We believe there could be strikes in retaliation to the arrest of Choudhury and Hazarika to show Ulfa is as strong as ever,” The Telegraph quoted a source in the army as saying. The 28 battalion had recruited about 50-60 cadres last year, soon after the Alpha and the Charlie companies of the battalion came overground by declaring a unilateral ceasefire. “These cadres have completed training in Myanmar and Nagaland’s Mon district and are ready for battle,” the official said. A leader of the pro-talks group of Ulfa, Jiten Dutta, while confirming that some cadres have joined the outfit after the Alpha and the Charlie companies declared a ceasefire, said most of these newly recruited cadres were from Sivasagar district. The 28 battalion currently has about 150 rebels. Security forces believe that Ulfa will desperately try to carry out a few strikes to prove that the outfit is still a force to reckon with. “With the latest intelligence inputs about these newly recruited cadres being ready to strike, we cannot take things lightly,” the army officer said.Ulfa almost became inactive in Upper Assam last year after the ceasefire by the two companies of the lethal 28th battalion. Apart from a few extortion notices to businessmen in Sivasagar district, all the five Upper Assam districts have almost been incident free. Although the arrest of Choudhury and Hazarika is considered a big blow for Ulfa, many believe that it could goad the lower rank cadres of the outfit to “carry on with the fight for freedom”. “Many lower rank cadres have never seen top leaders like Hazarika and Choudhury. The sudden appearance of these leaders could give the lower rank cadres inspiration and determination,” a senior police official said. Choudhury had told reporters on the court premises in Guwahati on Saturday that he would rather die than surrender. “These words could be a source of inspiration for the lower rank cadres,” the officer said.

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