Guwahati, Feb. 16: Ulfa has gone corporate with its recruitment method — employing a Chennai-based firm do its headhunting chores.
Police sources said the firm was under scanner of both state and central intelligence agencies after it was suspected to be working on behalf of the outfit.
“Earlier, it was Ulfa cadres who acted as headhunters for direct recruitment. Now, they have gone corporate, so to speak,” a police source said.
The new method and the change of venue are aimed at hoodwinking security personnel in the state who keep track of the outfit’s movements.
“We cannot name the company now but investigations are on,” the official said.
The police “are keeping a close watch on youths who left Assam recently, ostensibly to work in companies outside the state” — all picked up by the same firm.
Most of the youths have been recruited from Golaghat and Jorhat districts, including Majuli, and were contacted by agents working for the Chennai-based company.
A police official in Upper Assam said the “method” came to light when a number of youths, most of them from Majuli, left for Chennai after being recruited by a certain company and became “untraceable”.
What raised more suspicion was the fact that most of these youths had not even completed their Class X studies.
“It is surprising that a company which is based at Chennai should recruit youths from such backward areas of Assam. It would have still been understandable if this company had its operations in Assam. But during investigations we found that the company has no business interest in the state,” the official said.
Central intelligence agencies operating in Upper Assam have already cautioned Delhi about the development.
“These youths are in touch with their families and have been maintaining that they were safe, but none of them have disclosed their locations. We are almost sure that they have joined Ulfa,” the source said.
Assam police are also in touch with their Tamil Nadu counterparts over the findings.
A series of surrenders in recent times and the declaration of ceasefire by the Alpha and Charlie companies of the 28 battalion have left Ulfa heavily depleted in numbers, a source said.
“The striking power of the outfit has received a serious jolt, especially in Upper Assam, after the two companies of the battalion came overground,” he said.
Hence the desperate move for recruitment to tide over the number crunch.