|Paresh faction facing severe fund shortage|
R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, April 28 – The hardline faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), headed by Paresh Baruah has changed its tactics for collection of funds and instead of sending demand notes, the leaders of the outfit started calling up people directly demanding money and the outfit is also ready to negotiate on the demanded amount.
Highly-placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that the desperation level of the hardline faction of the ULFA for money is increasing as the outfit is facing severe shortage of funds. According to intelligence inputs, the outfit is even finding it difficult to procure adequate ration to run the camps in Myanmar properly, which forced it to launch extortion drive. However, most of those who received calls for money are not willing to pay the demanded amount.
Sources said that there have been instances when people agreed to pay up less than one-fourth of the demanded amount even after receiving calls from Paresh Baruah himself and under the circumstances, the outfit is desperate to indulge in acts of violence to make its presence felt. Apart from Paresh Baruah, Jiban Moran is calling up people in upper Assam, while, Drishti Rajkhowa is trying the same tactic in the lower Assam districts. The ULFA is using linkmen and couriers instead of its own cadres to collect funds and the police and security forces have started keeping close watch on the activities of suspected linkmen of the militant outfit.
Security sources revealed that apart from businessmen, several companies engaged in construction of the East West Corridor and other roads received demands from the ULFA, while, a number of oil companies have also been targeted by the militant outfit. One company engaged by the Oil India for survey work left the work site after receiving demand from the ULFA, sources added. On the other hand, it is believed that a portion of rural development funds is going to the coffers of the militants as a number of officers of the Panchayat and Rural development department received demands from the ULFA, particularly in Lower Assam district and “there are reasons to believe that some of them actually paid the militants instead of informing the incidents to the law enforcing agencies,” sources added.