Jorhat, July 5: The Paresh Barua group of Ulfa is trying to woo back former colleagues who had surrendered before the government earlier, taking advantage of the government’s apathy towards their rehabilitation.
This came to light after the arrest of two former Ulfa rebels, Rajen Saikia and Rajat Dutta, with a huge cache of arms and ammunition from Potiagaon here last night.
The duo revealed during interrogation that the government had taken no steps for their rehabilitation ever since they had surrendered in 2004 and they were forced to go back to their old ways to earn their livelihood.
“Several times we approached government officials to give us some aid to set up some business or the other but nothing was done. Hence, we took to crime again after being approached by the Paresh Barua group,” Rajat Dutta said.
The police recovered a Jackler rifle, two AK-series rifles, huge numbers of AK-rifle ammunition, nine landmines, one hand grenade, one bottle grenade, several explosive materials, including remote-controlled devices from their possession.
The police also arrested Khageswar Pegu from Dhodang Sapori near Majuli, to whom they were supposed to hand over the consignment.
Subsequently, the consignment was supposed to be handed over to Rajib Das, an Ulfa militant in Majuli.
Tanuram Bora and his wife Sunmai Bora were also arrested from Golakaxoria village, where the consignment had been kept, here today.
However, another rebel, Pankaj Barua, who was escorting the auto-rickshaw in which the consignment was carried, on a motorcycle, managed to flee when the police had stopped the auto-rickshaw.
Rajat and Rajen, who were produced in court today, were remanded in 10 days’ police custody.
The consignment had come through Arunachal Pradesh and had been given to Abonjyoti Lahon of Borigaon in Jorhat district by Ulfa cadre Rakesh Asom of Dibrugarh.
The consignment was subsequently brought to Sivasagar and from Disangmukh in Sivasagar district it had been ferried by boat to Jorhat.
Lahon had given Rs 2,000 to the duo to hand over the consignment to Khageswar Pegu.
The police suspect that the arms and ammunition were being gathered for use in the run-up to Independence Day.
Mridul Bora, the secretary of All-Assam Ex-Ulfa Co-ordination Committee condemned the activities of the former Ulfa rebels in a press release and said the duo have been suspended from the committee.
Bora also appealed to other former rebels not to indulge in such activities.