New Delhi, June 6: The Ulfa and Maoists have links, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi said today, differing with Union home minister P. Chidambaram.
Asked about Chidambaram’s statement at a media conference recently that there was nothing to suggest that Ulfa had links with Maoists, Gogoi had a straight answer.
“Let him say that. He has got his own sources, I have my own (sources),” he told reporters here. Gogoi said he was in the know about Maoist infiltration into Assam and their links with Ulfa for a long time.
Sections in the security establishment contested Gogoi’s confident claim on the premise that Ulfa would like to protect its own territory than hand it over to the Maoists.
Sources said the CPI (Maoist)’s fast bonds with Manipur’s valley-based outfits, particularly the People’s Liberation Army that has trained Naxalites in Odisha and Jharkhand, is well known.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a chargesheet against a PLA leader, Wangba, mentioning details of his meetings with the Maoists.
The NIA has even claimed that Maoists cadres visit PLA camps in Myanmar.
Maoists had struck a deal with Manipur outfits in 2008 and even met NSCN (I-M) general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah at Camp Hebron near Dimapur some years ago.
Gogoi said the Maoists had links with many insurgent groups in the Northeast and Ulfa was just one of them.
“I do not make much difference between PLA, UNLF or Ulfa. They have all been fighting and talking of exploitation. There is no difference between A, B or C.”
Saying that economic under-development breeds insurgency, Gogoi stressed on improving connectivity in the remote areas, especially along the border, to give a fillip to the rural economy. Assam is focusing on road, waterways and air connectivity with its Rs 10,500 crore plan outlay for 2012-13.
He said it was imperative to establish connectivity in the border areas as the Northeast is surrounded by countries where Indian insurgents take refuge.
“(There is) Myanmar where there are insurgent groups from all over the Northeast…and there was Bangladesh which has done much to help…Nepal is also there where there are Maoists, and there is the ISI…so we need connectivity and special programmes in border areas,” he said.
Gogoi said although insurgency was under control, one could not be complacent. He said the Assam government was taking appropriate steps to root out insurgents and Maoists from its soil.