‘Demoralised’ ULFA has jehadi links: Assam chief minister


Guwahati : Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Thursday said the state’s most potent separatist group, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), has definite links with Islamist militant outfits and is working in coordination with such forces.

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“There is no doubt about linkages between the ULFA and fundamentalist jehadi groups and about the coordination between them,” Gogoi said at a press conference here.

The chief minister said he had informed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of this nexus during his meeting with him in New Delhi earlier this week.

Gogoi said a total of 655 ULFA rebels have surrendered to the authorities across Assam so far since the peace process between the group and the government broke down in September 2006.

“The surrender by ULFA militants clearly indicates that they are frustrated and demoralised. They are giving up despite the peace process breaking down,” Gogoi said.

The outlawed ULFA Thursday received yet another setback as 66 rebels, including several of their top leaders, surrendered.

A police spokesman said top ULFA leaders who laid down arms included Ujjwal Gohain, the ‘finance secretary’ of the group’s ’28th battalion’, the outfit’s most potent fighting unit.

Gogoi said his government would table the report of the K.N. Saikia Commission’s enquiry into the ‘secret killings’ in Assam in the late 1990s during the winter session of the state assembly that begins Nov 12.

“The revelations are going to be more disturbing than even the findings into the Gujarat riots,” the Chief Minister said, refusing to divulge details.

A number of relatives of ULFA rebels were killed across Assam by mystery killers, leading to allegations that official agencies had a hand in those murders, which took place during the tenure of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) government.