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Majuli operation to flush out Ulfa

A policeman keeps vigil in Majuli. File picture

Jorhat, Jan. 24: Security forces have intensified their operations in Majuli to flush out Ulfa militants who have reportedly taken shelter in the numerous chaporis (sandbars) in and around the island and are serving extortion notes and planning sabotage.

Sources said dreaded Ulfa militant Rajib Das, along with a group of about 10 rebels, was taking refuge on chaporis located between Majuli (in Jorhat district of Assam) and Lakhimpur and planning to carry out sabotage in the mainland — Jorhat and Lakhimpur — in the run-up to Republic Day.

“The group has also served extortion notices to businessmen and government officials in Majuli. We have no confirmed report whether the persons who have received these notices are paying up,” a police official in Majuli said.

He said Ulfa had put Das, who hails from Pakajor village under Gormurh police station in Majuli, in charge of Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Golaghat and Dhemaji districts after its 28 battalion was dismantled. This lethal battalion, which operated in Upper Assam, was dismantled after two of its three companies, A and C, declared a unilateral ceasefire and came overground.

“We have information that under Rajib, Ulfa has been trying to forge a tie-up with the newly formed Liberation Democratic Council of Mising Land, a militant outfit fighting for the cause of the Misings in the four districts of Assam, including Majuli,” the official said.

He said since Majuli, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji had a sizeable Mising population, Ulfa has been trying to take help from the Mising outfit, to regain strength.

“Ulfa and the Liberation Democratic Council of Mising Land are working together in Lakhimpur, Dhemaji and Majuli and the new outfit is helping Ulfa to run the extortion racket,” he added.

The official said the Mising outfit, formed about two years ago, was active in the Panigaon and Dhakuakhana areas of Lakhimpur district. A few months ago, security forces had apprehended two of its cadres.

The security forces are keeping a close watch on a few surrendered Ulfa cadres who are allegedly maintaining a close link with Das and are helping to run an extortion racket on the island. “We have no concrete evidence that these surrendered militants are helping Das. So we are keeping a close watch,” the official said.

He said Das was also reportedly making phone calls to senior government officials engaged in various projects in Majuli to provide contracts to a few surrendered militants of the island.