Dibrugarh/Kokrajhar, June 10: The army today landed itself into another controversy when villagers in and around Timon tea estate in Sivasagar district accused it of gunning down an Ulfa member in cold blood.
The army, however, claimed that Aditya Naidu, alias Tarun Pandav, who was behind the killings of Hindi-speaking population last year, was killed in an encounter.
The villagers said Aditya, a listed cadre of Bravo Company of Ulfas 28 Battalion, had put up at a relatives place after contracting jaundice.
Adityas woman companion Karabi Gogoi, who too contested the armys claim, has been arrested. She, however, said she had some relationship with the slain militant.
The army had apprehended the Ulfa member during a search operation early this morning and shot him from close range after severely beating him up, the villagers alleged.
Aditya, also known as Bhai, was a tea community member and was from Uriamghat Tingline of Timon tea estate.
The army denied the charge. An officer of the regiment said over phone that during a search operation, troops opened fire when the militant tried to escape after throwing a grenade at Timon tea estate under Kakotibari police station, ignoring repeated warnings.
Aditya was shot after being tortured by an army patrol that raided the village, Karabi said.
The pistol and grenades which the army had claimed to have recovered from the spot, were also not his, she alleged.
In a separate incident, the police gunned down Dharya Deka, the commander of Ulfas 709 Battalion and Rana Rabha, another Ulfa militant, last night at Palashguri in Baksa.
Police picked up three suspected Ulfa conduits from a house in South Sarania in Guwahati this evening. A police source said they are Abani Mahanta, Chandan Deka and Nayan Sarma.
Two Ulfa militants were killed in an encounter with the army at Borbam village in Dibrugarh district this evening. Two AK-47 rifles were found on the militants.