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Tarun Gogoi orders firm actions against Ulfa-I

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New Delhi: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Tuesday ordered the Chief Secretary and the Deputy General Police to take firm steps on Ulfa (Independent) which was one of the leading separatist groups in a shooting spree at a stone crusher plant in Namrup on Monday in the Dibrugarh district.

Gogoi asked the Chief Secretary VK Pipersenia and the recently appointed DGP Mukesh Sahay to enforce stringent charge of offensive against Ulfa (I) and NSCN (K) in the wake of the incident. The CM is also said to have had a telephonic conversation with GoC 3 Corps on Tuesday morning to intensify the dismantling operation against them to nab the ultras activities. He is further expected to call the Centre to take steps for an all-out operation against Ulfa(I) and NSCN(K) to expose their camp sites in Myanmar.

The CM adding on to his concerns said in an interview, that the administration should advance its strategies to counter these threats by the separatist groups. He also asked the Chief Secretary to formulate an effective action plan for further strengthening the law and order machinery in view of militancy threats.

Reacting to the incident, the CM asked the Centre for compensation for the victims as well as their families killed (and injured) in the attacks. The local committee of Assam Pradesh Congress is apprehensive of similar to attacks as Namrup firing taking place again in Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and in neighbouring areas, the All Assam Koch Rajbongshi Students Union’s (AAKRSU) Biswajit Rai faction urged the Centre and the state government to tighten security in the BTC area.

The students’ body of BTC have appealed to the government to keep security forces on standby if violence is triggered in the region again creating panic in upper Assam.

AAKRSU President Biswajit Rai said that the killing of Muslims and Adivasis was an old issue that wreaked havoc in the state in 1993, 1996, 2008, 2012 and 2014. He added that it can very well be repeated on Koch Rajbongshi people this time. Numerous local tribes had already cautioned the government that if ST status would not be given to six indigenous ethnic communities, bloodshed will take place, said Rai.

He also threatened the Centre that if the BJP Government did not grant Scheduled Tribe  (ST) status by December than the state will suffer extreme turmoil from January.

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Anup Chetia remanded in five day CBI Custody


Guwahati: Runaway ULFA leader Anup Chetia alias Golap Baruah, extradited from Bangladesh, was on Wednesday presented before a Guwahati court, which remanded him in five-day CBI custody.

Chetia, who was lodged in a Bangladesh jail ever since his arrest in 1997, was brought to Guwahati on Wednesday morning aboard a special aircraft by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on transit remand.

He was taken straight from the airport to the CBI court amid tight security. The security personnel did not even allow waiting media persons to have a word with Chetia.

Some members of Chetia’s family – including his wife and son – and senior members of United Liberation Front of Assam’s pro-talks faction, however, managed to exchange a few words and greetings with the senior ULFA leader.

Chetia was extradited from Bangladesh to India on November 11 and brought to New Delhi. CBI officials took him in custody and were grilling him ever since.

“On November 12, the CBI arrested Chetia regarding a murder case registered in Golaghat district in 1986. CBI officials today demanded 14-day custody of Chetia. After hearing us, the magistrate remanded Chetia in five-day CBI custody,” said Chetia’s counsel Bijan Mahajan.

Mahajan said the court asked CBI officials to provide medical assistance to Chetia, apart from good food while in custody.

“The court also ordered for health check-up of Chetia after every 24 hours and submission of a report to this effect,” Mahajan said, adding the CBI was directed to allow Chetia’s counsel and family members to meet him.

Some members of the pro-talks ULFA faction – engaged in peace talks with the government of India since 2010 – later told the media that Chetia was fine.

Chetia’s wife Monika Baruah Chetia told journalists that he did not recognise her at first. “I am very happy. Finally the wait is over and I wish the government of India will ensure his release so that the talks could go ahead,” she said.

Heavy security was deployed in the court and barricades put up in the premises in order to thwart people from reaching near Chetia or raising pro-ULFA slogans, as was done when ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa was presented before a court in 2009.

Chetia was first arrested in 1991 but was released on his assurance that he would bring other ULFA leaders to the negotiating table.

However, he fled the country. He was arrested by Bangladesh police in December 1997 for entering the country on fake documents, possessing illegal foreign currency, firearms and a satellite phone.



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Anup Chetia’s participation will legitimise peace talks


New Delhi: As speculation continues that deported ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia will join the talks between the terror group and the central government, a senior member of the pro-talks group and the organisation’s “foreign secretary”, Sashadhar Choudhury, has said this will only legitimise the peace process and not necessarily bring about any qualitative change.

“Qualitatively I do not think there is going to be any change from the current status if Chetia joins the peace talks. However, if Chetia joins then the peace process will be legitimised more than the existing one,” Choudhury, whose real name is Sailen Choudhury, told IANS.

Chetia was deported to India on Nov 11 by Bangladesh, where he was arrested in 1997. He is currently in CBI custody.

Stressing that the existing pro-talks faction of ULFA, who entered into peace negotiations with the central government in 2010 after several top leaders were arrested, has submitted its agenda and debated on the points that can be agreed on, Choudhury said that it now depends on the government if it wants to resolve the Assam problem or not.

Recently, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had said that the government is planning to soon wind up the talks. The proposed date for the next round of peace talks between ULFA’s pro-talk faction, the Centre and the Assam government is November 24 in New Delhi.

Choudhury, who along with other senior leaders of the pro-talks faction, including the organisation’s ex-chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, has been granted bail by the Guwahati High Court since 2010, said, “I do not think that the government is trying to intentionally delay the peace process but if it wants a quick solution, it needs to speed up.”

One of the reasons that are believed to have paralysed the talks is the demand for tribal status for six communities – Tai Ahom, Koch Rajbongshi, Chutiya, Moran, Muttock and the Adivasi tea garden workers who are recognised as tribals in other states. The communities together account for 20 percent of the electorate in the state and play a decisive role in more than 40 of the 126 assembly constituencies in six districts of upper Assam.

Asked if the deportation of Chetia will isolate Paresh Baruah, the “commander-in-chief” of ULFA’s military wing, Choudhury said: “I am not the right person to speak on this. We have no relationship with him, but then, it should not be considered that there is any contradiction between us in terms of ideology.”

“The only point where we differ is on having talks with the government. Nobody from this group has any contact with him. It is the Government of India who can have relations with Paresh Baruah. So it’s up to the government and Paresh Baruah’s organisation to deal with, even if any confrontation may arise,” Choudhury said.

Sounding supportive of Chetia for showing willingness towards the peace process, the 50-year-old leader stated that the government has assured a solution on the tribal status issue by December.

Speaking to a news agency, Raju Baruah, the former “deputy Commander-in-chief” of the military wing, said, “Previously, we had contacted Anup Chetia and then many more letters have been sent to us by him showing his eagerness to join the peace process. We can finalise everything only after meeting Chetia.”

Asked if Paresh Barua would be backed if the negotiations fail, Raju, whose real name is Hitesh Kalita said, “We are the central body and we keep our commitment that we will involve ourselves with with the government only through negotiations.”


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ULFA top leader Anup Chetia in Indian custody


New Delhi: Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention and active initiatives by NSA Ajit Doval, ULFA founding member, Anup Chetia was handed over to Indian agencies by Bangladesh at Indo-Bangla border this morning.

Chetia the general secretary of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has numerous cases against him including murder, abductions, and extortion in India.

He was arrested by Bangladesh police in December 1997. His plea for seeking political asylum in Bangladesh was turned down thrice in 2005, 2008 and 2011 and sentenced to seven years of imprisonment for cross-border intrusion, carrying fake passports and illegally keeping foreign currencies.

However, after the expiry of his term, Chetia was kept in jail under a 2003 high court directive asking authorities to keep him in safe custody until a decision was taken on his asylum plea.

The repartition of Anup Chetia would be a huge blow to the extremist outfit which has frequently destabilized the north-eastern region of India. Getting him in custody would help Indian intelligence agencies to get crucial details on the organization’s financial backings and incubation centers in neighboring countries.

The success by the Indian agencies proves its dynamism as it was only last week when India’s most wanted criminal Chhota Rajan landed in India’s net.

(Picture Courtesy:.jagran.com)