Guwahati, April 28: Ulfaís crack unit ó the 28 Battalion ó today suffered a major setback when police arrested its organising secretary, Ananta Gogoi, along with two others in the city.
A huge cache of arms and ammunition was seized from them. Police sources said the rebel leader was arrested while he was transporting the consignment from Dhopdhara in Goalpara to Tinsukia via Guwahati.
The arms are suspected to have been smuggled into the state from Bangladesh through the Garo hills in a Maruti van (AS01H 3508), which was intercepted at Jalukbari. The other two persons arrested were identified as veteran Ulfa activist Deep Gogoi alias Rakhi Phukan and vehicle driver Moni Gowala. The police described Gogoiís arrest as a major success.
The 37-year-old Gogoi, alias Sasanka Baruah, is from Doomdooma and is a second lieutenant in Ulfa. Hailing from Golaghat, 30-year-old Rakhi is said to be Gogoiís companion.
The seized arms and other items include two M-20 pistols, four magazines, eight Austrian-made hand grenades, 4.12 kg of RDX, 190 rounds of ammunition of AK-47 rifles, two programmable time device switches, a remote-controlled explosive device, Rs 11,000 in cash, seven ransom and extortion notes and four mobile handsets.
Sources said the special branch of Assam police interrogated the trio. The police claimed that Gogoi has already made startling disclosures, having named a few Ulfa sympathisers who had given them shelter. He also said Ulfa was extending financial assistance to its overground contact persons.
On basis of Gogoiís confession, his wife, self-styled Lt Renuka Gogoi alias Punya Prabha Gogoi and their 19-year-old daughter were later arrested from a rented house in Tezpur. A laptop and Rs 30,000 in cash were seized from them. Their other daughter, a schoolgirl, is absconding.
On the other hand, a highway blockade called by the People's Committee for Peace Initiatives in Assam (PCPIA) today disrupted traffic in most parts of the state. Protesters who wanted revival of the peace process between the government and Ulfa were detained and later released.
PCPIA convenor Birinchi Neog said from Lahowal, on National Highway 37, that blockades were staged on all national highways passing through Dhubri, Nalbari, Lahowal, Sepon, Moran, Gohpur, Lakhimpur and VIP Road.
National Highway 31 came to a total standstill for nearly two hours at Baparipatty More in Gouripur of Dhubri district.