Jorhat/Guwahati, Feb. 21: One of the few rema-ining dreaded leaders of Ulfa’s Paresh Barua faction, Bijoy Das alias Bijoy Chinese, has come overground to join the peace process.
The self-styled deputy commander-in-chief of the Barua faction, who is its eastern zone commander, surfaced about a week ago and was with the security forces in Tinsukia.
Additional director-general of police (special branch) Khagen Sarma said Chinese was being brought to Guwahati but might not be arrested as he was going to join Ulfa’s pro-talks faction, led by Arabinda Rajkhowa. More cadres of the faction are likely to join the peace process, he added.
Just before being taken to Guwahati this morning, Chinese told reporters in Tinsukia that he would join the pro-talks group soon. He said he was supposed to have come overground with Mrinal Hazarika and Jiten Dutta in 2008 but went back to the Ulfa camps in Myanmar to convince more cadres to come overground. “It took me some time to return,” he said, adding “More cadres of the anti-talks faction will join the pro-talks faction soon.”
Chinese, who joined Ulfa in 1989 and hails from Tamulpur in Nalbari district, was sent for training to Myanmar soon after. Both the police and Jiten Dutta said the move by Chinese was a “big blow” to the Barua faction.
Dutta said the Barua faction was not left with any field commander with Chinese coming overground. “Chinese was the last field commander of the Paresh Barua faction. He (Barua) is left with only three leaders now — Jibon Moran, Michael Dhekialphukon and Drishti Rajkhowa. But they are not field operators like Chinese and myself and a few who came overground in 2008.” He said Muhim Gogoi alias Muhim Asom, another field operator who had joined the Ulfa in 1994, had surrendered in Tinsukia in November last year.
Dutta said the new leaders of the anti-talks faction like Arunudoi Dohotia were new recruits and did not have the experience of cadres like Chinese. “We had not even heard of names like Arunudoi when we were with Paresh Barua,” he said, adding that it was time for Barua to realise his mistake and join the peace process for the greater interest of the Assamese people.
The Barua faction, in an emailed statement issued to media houses today, however, said Chinese coming overground would “not have any impact” on the outfit. “The future of Ulfa’s struggle does not depend on any one person,” the email said, adding that Chinese had deserted them because of personal compulsions.