Guwahati, May 4: Ulfa’s changed recruitment strategy has put the police in a fix.
According to police sources, the outfit is now carrying out only operation-specific recruitment, where a person is assigned a single task and has no links with the outfit thereafter.
The outfit’s new strategy came to light after the interrogation of Nirmal Konwar, second-in-command of the outfit’s 27 battalion. Konwar was picked up from a nursing home in Guwahati on Thursday.
He and his wife were undergoing treatment at the nursing home at the time.
Konwar told the police that short-term training courses were being provided to these new recruits and only for specific weapons and jobs.
“If a new member has been selected he/she would be trained to use a particular weapon, say the use of a pen pistol or small arms or to make a bomb,” a source said, quoting Konwar.
According to Konwar, the new recruitment drives were area and job specific and only selected youths were being recruited.
“If the target is a politician, persons having access to the political field are being selected for the purpose. Training is provided on the use of pen pistols,” Konwar said during interrogation.
Moreover, these recruits, when arrested, cannot provide any clues to the police because they are unaware of the identities of those who engaged them.
The source said it was because of these circumstances that the militant arrested from Hatigaon a couple of months back was not able to provide any information regarding his links.
According to the source, the militant, Rahul Das, had undergone training only in bomb making but had no idea about other weapons.
“Nor did he have any information about his links. An Ulfa militant with a false name had arranged for a 10-day training course,” he said.
Konwar said these new recruits had no connection with the outfit after the training and were called only for specific operations for which they were trained.
Sumanta Dutta, an Air Deccan employee, was another such recruit by Ulfa, the officer said.
“Ulfa did hatch a plan to hijack a commercial flight from the Gopinath Bordoloi Airport and was preparing the groundwork in this regard. Sumanta was one who could have come in handy for the outfit,” the source said.
An ISI agent F.A. Ahmed, apparently provided Manoj Tamuli, an arrested Ulfa militant, with training in hijacking late last year.