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Rajkhowa arrest sparks camp rift
Published on 12 Dec. 2009 12:42 AM IST
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A large number of Ulfa cadres, mostly supporters of the outfit’s chairman, Arabinda Rajkhowa, has deserted their camps in Myanmar and started moving towards Assam. Highly placed sources told The Telegraph that these cadres, scattered in small groups, have been sending feelers to the security forces regarding their intention to come overground. “A few cadres have already got in touch our sources, if not directly with us,” a senior police official said, adding that the development took place after the arrest of Arabinda Rajkhowa. It was because of such a development that a “fight” broke out between two groups of Ulfa cadres in a camp along the Indo-Myanmar border on Monday. A senior cadre of the outfit, Seema Bora, died while another woman member, Satyama Bailung, was injured after a militant fired at them. Seema was from Ujani Konwar village, the ancestral village of Rajkhowa, in Sivasagar district. “We have no information about what exactly had resulted in the bloody brawl but it could be because of one group’s decision to come overground,” the official said. Confirming the development, a leader of the pro-talks group, Jiten Gogoi, said there was information about some cadres deserting the Myanmar camp recently. “We have no information about their intention. Neither have they contacted us nor do we have information whether they are in touch with the security forces,” he said. Dutta, however, said a possibility was there for a large chunk of cadres of the Bravo company of the 28th battalion to come overground very soon. “Since most of the cadres of the Bravo company are from Sivasagar, the home district of the outfit’s chairman, the possibility of a large number of cadres coming overground is there,” he said. The Bravo company had stayed away from the joining the pro-talks group comprising the Alpha and Charlie companies of the battalion when it declared a unilateral ceasefire in June last year. Dispur is, however, not taking things lightly and has directed the Upper Assam districts to keep a tight vigil on vital installations. “Unless we have confir-med information that these cadres are coming from Myanmar with the intention to join the mainstream we cannot take things lightly. They may also come with the intention of sabotage to protest the arrest of their leaders,” a home department official said.

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