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Trophy Five in police showcase

Jalpaiguri, Dec. 21: Parading the KLO prize-catch, police today said 13 more militants of the outfit were being held captive by the Royal Bhutan Army.

The five militants handed over yesterday by the army — Tom Adhikary alias Joydeb Roy, Milton Burma alias Mihir Das, Sanjoy Adhikary alias Vicky, Bhim Dakua alias Jayanta Das and Pabitra Singha alias Biplab Singha — were produced in the court of subdivisional judicial magistrate S.S. Bhatia, who remanded them in police custody for 10 days.

Sanjoy was arrested from the general headquarters of the Ulfa in Deothang in Samdrup Jongkhar district of Bhutan. The others, including Tom, the chief of the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation’s action squad, fell into the net during the offensive on the Bucca camp in Tading district. Burma was in charge of the camp.

Indicating that the backbone of the KLO was broken with the arrests, inspector-general of police (north Bengal) Bhupinder Singh said the troops had arrested 13 other militants along with Anjana Roy, a resident of Mainaguri and the wife of Pabitra Singha, general secretary of the outfit’s central committee.

“We have specific information that the RBA has arrested 13 more KLO militants and a woman, who is the wife of Pabitra Singha. We hope they will soon be handed over to us. We also believe that the RBA has recovered four AK-56 rifles and a pistol from the five KLO militants who were handed over to us yesterday,” Singh said at a news conference.

The inspector-general said the KLO militants maintained “close ties” with the Ulfa and had their arms shipped from Bangladesh. “We are yet to get inputs about the source of the arms but we are sure they got them from Bangladesh. The KLO militants had close links with the Ulfa and not so much with the NDFB (National Democratic Front of Boroland). We have found that many KLO militants stayed at the central headquarters and general headquarters of the Ulfa in Bhutan.”

Singh said the militants were “cooperating” with the police. “Tom Adhikary has admitted during interrogation that he masterminded the attack on the CPM office in Dhupguri on August 17 last year. He has also confessed his involvement in several other cases. As far as the others are concerned, they have also provided valuable information to us.”

Buoyed by the arrest of the “big fish”, the police are now banking on information provided by them to get the other top guns. Among those who are still at large are Pulastya Burman, Harshabardhan Burman, the founder-members of KLO, Jeevan Singha, the chairman of the outfit, and Bijoy Roy alias Kitab Das, believed to be a crack guerrilla. Police sources believe they too were in the Bucca camp but had managed to escape. The KLO chief, the sources said, may have sneaked into Bangladesh with a large amount of cash.

Ulfa contests claim

Cornered by Bhutan troops but apparently more angry with the Indian Army, the Ulfa today said the armed forces on this side of the India-Bhutan border have launched a propaganda war to “demoralise” its ranks, reports our Guwahati correspondent.

Ulfa commander-in-chief Paresh Barua said in an interview to an Internet news portal that the army had wrongly announced the capture of a couple of its top leaders. “Major Bening Rabha and Captain Biju Deka are very much present in Bhutan and leading the fightback. The news of their surrender and arrest has been spread by the Indian Army to break the morale of our fighters,” said Barua.

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