June 29: West Bengal police today struck at the heart of the Ulfa-Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) nexus, killing the militant leader who had been co-ordinating the activities of the two groups for many years now.
Hari Mohan Roy, alias Rustam Chowdhury, was assistant finance secretary in the Ulfa hierarchy but his main job was to plan and execute joint operations by his outfit and its ally in Bengal.
The militant, who hailed from Dhubri in Lower Assam, was killed in an encounter at Sankosh forest reserve in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal around 1 am.
Jalpaiguri superintendent of police Siddh Nath Gupta said Rustam was found dead inside the forest — skirting the state’s border with Assam and Bhutan — after a half-an-hour firefight. However, his two associates escaped, taking advantage of heavy rain.
The police team found a 9 mm pistol and four rounds of live ammunition and Rs 4,650 on the slain militant, who was on the wanted list of both Bengal and Assam police.
His death is a blow not only to the Ulfa, but also to the KLO, which he had helped form in 1993. Apart from Rustam, the slain militant had operated under two more aliases, Dilip Das and Nitai.