Ghose ‘killer’ resurfaces

Fugitive Ulfa rebel threatens doctor over Majuli contracts
Guwahati, Jan 7 : A key accused in the murder of Sanjoy Ghose, the social activist who was killed by Ulfa militants in 1997 for unearthing its nexus with contractors in Majuli, has resurfaced and is threatening a medical officer of the island to offer contracts to his candidates.
Phatik Hatimota, one of the 11 Ulfa militants chargesheeted by the CBI for Ghose’s murder and among the four still most wanted in the case, allegedly called up medical officer Jayanta Bora a couple of days ago and threatened him with dire consequences if his candidates were not given contracts.
He wants Bora to award the contract for the construction of a gynaecological ward in Majuli sub-divisional hospital for which the health department has released Rs 15 lakh and tenders were floated recently.
Confirming the development, Majuli sub-divisional police officer N. Mahanta said Hatimota was still operating in the island. “He fled from the island soon after Ghose’s killing but has returned recently,” he added. Mahanta said six persons working for Hatimota were arrested yesterday and Ulfa letterheads recovered from them. “We are interrogating these persons who have been demanding money in the name of Ulfa on the island for some time now,” he added.
Of the 11 Ulfa militants chargesheeted in the murder case, five — Amrit Dutta, Siraj Bora, Babu Saikia, Arup Baruah and Mrinal Hazarika — were killed in encounters with security forces. Two militants, Moni Neog and Kania Hazarika, are serving life sentences and four — Ulfa’s self-styled commander-in-chief Paresh Barua, Anjan Borthakur, Pradip Baruah and Hatimota — are still absconding.
Sources in Majuli said contractors engaged in various projects on the island, especially flood control and social welfare departments, had allegedly been paying handsome amounts to the Ulfa coffer much before Ghose’s team of social workers landed there.
“The trend stopped following a massive crackdown on the militants in the island soon after the killing of Ghose. It seems Ulfa is trying to renew its fund-collection drive in Majuli,” another police official said.
“The outfit’s fund-collection drive slowed down after the Alpha and Charlie companies of its 28 battalion declared a unilateral ceasefire in June last year. The Bravo company is trying to do its bit for collection of funds,” he added.
Majuli is under the jurisdiction of the B company which also operates in Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts.
The outfit has already served extortion notices to tea gardens in Sivasagar, especially in the gardens located in Charaideo sub-division, bordering Nagaland.