R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, Aug 2 – The hardline faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) is desperate to carry out some “spectacular actions” during the run up to the Independence Day celebrations , while, police and security forces have been kept on high alert to thwart any such attempt by the outfit. However, security agencies are of the view that the outfit is unlikely to target civilians.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that the leaders of the outfit have been directing the cadres on the ground to indulge in acts of violence to make the outfit’s presence felt in the State and a few small groups have managed to sneak into India in recent days from the camps in Myanmar. Sources said that according to information available with the security agencies, a few small groups of the outfit are camping in Tirap, Changlang and Lohit districts of Arunachal Pradesh and Mon district of Nagaland looking for opportunities to enter Assam.
Sources said that a few hardcore members of the hardline faction of the ULFA are already in Assam, but they are constantly on the move because of sustained operations by police and security forces. As per information available, senior members of the ULFA including Nayan Medhi and Rajiv Das are in Majuli river island, but they are keeping a low profile.
Other senior members of the outfit including Tibrajit Hazarika, Rupanta Kakati, Arpanjyoti Lahkar and Pradeep Gogoi are moving around in upper Assam districts with handful of cadres looking for opportunities to strike. However, sources said that the police and security forces are always behind them and the ultras have not been able to stay in one place for long time to plan strategies to strike.
Sources said that the recent attack on Army in Goalpara was masterminded by senior ULFA leader Drishti Rajkhowa. Rajkhowa stays mostly in Garo Hills with the members of the GNLA and from time to time, he also crosses over to Bangladesh whenever pressure is mounted in Garo Hills.
The security agencies are of the view that the possibility of the ULFA using linkmen to plant explosives or to lob grenades cannot be ruled out. In recent months, several such attempts were made by the ULFA to lob grenades by using linkmen, but most such attempts were foiled by the police and security forces and a number of lower level cadres of the outfit and linkmen have been arrested.