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Joint team fells Ulfa leader

Dhubri, Nov. 20: Saurav Asom alias Bolin Gogoi, the self-styled sergeant major of Ulfa’s western command, was killed in an encounter with police and the army in the Shantipahar area under Krishnai police station in Goalpara district last night.

Saurav had been involved in militant activities, including triggering blasts aimed at army vehicles and kidnappings in Goalpara and Garo hills districts of Meghalaya.

The army and Krishnai police, after receiving specific information that three militants were hiding in the area, launched the operation late last night. Saurav was killed while one of the militants, who sustained serious injuries, managed to flee with another, a police source in Goalpara said.

Saurav was close to Ulfa leader Drishti Rajkhowa, who is currently in charge of lower Assam districts.

The army recovered one 7.62 pistol, an IED and a huge quantity of ammunition from the encounter site.

An army source in Goalpara said Saurav was the prime accused in the blast which killed an army jawan and injured six at Bamunghopa, between Makri and Soulmari under Goalpara police station, on July 31.

On August 5, two Ulfa cadres involved in the attack were killed in an encounter with the police in the Dhanubhanga-Ganeshjuli area under Dhupdhara police station in Goalpara district.

The operation was carried out by city police.

In a statement released today by Arunodoi Asom (Dohotia), assistant publicity secretary of Ulfa, the death of Saurav Asom was confirmed. While Saurav was conferred with “second lieutenant” posthumously, Ripunjoy Asom alias Ajit Saikia, who was killed in Majuli on November 15, was given the post of a “captain,” the release stated.

An Ulfa linkman, Andiam Marak, 25, of Thanthi village in Goalpara, was apprehended along with empty cartridges and mobile handsets, an extortion letter written to Taher Ali Bepari, legislator of Golokganj in Dhubri district, with a demand of Rs 50 lakh.