Arrested rebel discloses Ulfa plot

Guwahati, March 3 : Stung by the intensified counter-insurgency operations, Ulfa has hatched a plot to identify and neutralise civilians whom it suspects to be informers of security forces.
Police stumbled on the outfit’s intention during the interrogation of Ulfa militant Madhusudan Das, who was arrested here on Saturday.
A source in the city police said the commander of Ulfa’s 709 battalion, Hira Sarania, had constituted five to six small groups, each comprising four to five cadres, trained in intelligence-gathering skills and use of arms, in a bid to pinpoint the civilian informers and neutralise them.
According to intelligence inputs, Sarania — who figures in the most-wanted list of Assam police — is also supervising the activities of Ulfa’s 109 battalion.
“Das has told his interrogators that these groups, which were led by leaders of the ranks of self-styled corporals, were hiding at different places in lower Assam such as Baksa, Nalbari, Barpeta, Kamrup, Goalpara and Bongaigaon districts,” the source said.
“These units were specifically asked to identify the civilians, who were being used by the police and army as spies to gather information on the activities of Ulfa in lower Assam where the 709 and 109 battalions of the outfit are operating. The members of these groups were drawn from these two battalions only,” the police source, quoting the confessional statement of Das, said.
He said Das was aware of the constitution of one such group, which is led by “corporal” Kamal Barman alias Nakul Kalita besides hardcore rebels like Baba Rabha, Amal Kalita, Gautam Medhi and Dhoba as its members.
“We have not been able ascertain the real name of Dhoba, which is actually his nickname. But the remaining members of the group are in our list of wanted Ulfa cadres,” the source said.
“According to Das, these groups were constituted around six months ago but he doesn’t know much about the members of the other groups except one. We are hopeful that sustained interrogation of the accused may shed more light,” he added.
Das was remanded in five days’ police custody by the court, after his arrest.
The police source said the group with which Das was in touch is at present hiding somewhere in Baksa.
“According to our information these groups are waiting for an opportune time to attack those whom they suspect to be police or army informers. The matter is of serious concern as they may create trouble ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls when the attention of the security forces will divert towards election-related security duties,” the source said.
He said the possibility of these groups targeting persons, whom they believe are “poaching” the cadres of the outfit’s 709 and 109 battalions and trying to persuade them to either surrender or declare unilateral ceasefire cannot be ruled out.
The police said Das, who belongs to Musalpur in Baksa district, joined Ulfa in 2007.
In another development, police today arrested Naba Kumar Rai, a cadre of Ulfa’s 709 battalion from Gorchuk area here.
A police source said that he was arrested on the basis of Das’s confession.