KLO rebel spills stint in Myanmar

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  • Published 25.02.13

Siliguri, Feb. 24: Mohan Roy alias Coach, the 30-year-old KLO militant who was arrested from Ghoshpukur near here yesterday, told interrogators that he had received training in Myanmar, sources told The Telegraph.

If the information is correct, this is the first time that a KLO militant who had received the training in Myanmar was caught by the police.

Along with Mohan, the police arrested another KLO member Sebok Burman also from Ghoshpukur. Later in the day, Aloti Singha, a resident of Gossainpur near Bagdogra, was picked up for allegedly sheltering Mohan and Sebok upon their arrival in the region on February 21, police sources said.

All the three were produced in the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court here today and remanded in police custody for 12 days. They are busy in collecting updated information about the militant outfit, which, over past six months or so, are showing indications of reorganising their cadres and recruiting new ones.

KLO, formed back in 1998 and known to be having strong connections with Ulfa and other militant groups based in northeast, had become the cause of concern for the Bengal government till 2004 as it carried out a series of terrorist activities like abduction, killing and even a bomb blast at a passenger train in Belakoba of Jalpaiguri on November 2006. The organisation, however, suffered a setback as the Royal Bhutan Army carried out Operation Flushout in 2003-04 and could nab several key leaders of the outfit.

“Since then, activities of the KLO had subdued in the region. However, since last year, there were information that the group is reorganizing again as leaders like Tom Adhikary and Malkhan Singh, who got out from jail on bail, went missing from their homes. Later, we learnt that they are in northeast and trying to revive the organisation with active support from self-styled KLO chief Jeevan Singha,” intelligence officials said.

Much like other militant groups of northeast, the KLO had run training camps in Bhutan and Bangladesh.

“However, after Mohan’s arrest yesterday, we learnt that he had received training in Myanmar. We have sought police custody as we need more information from him about the training process in Myanmar, which is new for us,” investigators said. “Our information also suggest that Mohan was one of the accused involve in the bomb blast at Belakoba.”

A resident of Sariam Kalibari area in Belacoba under Kotwali police station in Jalpaiguri, Mohan is known to be a trained cadre of the first batch of KLO who took training in Myanmar.

The fact that KLO is reorganizing has been reconfirmed by locals, who dwell in hamlets that were KLO hotbeds in the last decade.

“They are restructuring the central committee. So far, we have one name, Pran Narayan Koch, who has introduced himself as assistant general secretary of KLO,” sources said. “Koch has revealed among his close aides that they are resuming the struggle as the Centre and state have not paid attention to their demands of rehabilitating and creating employment opportunities for them.”

Darjeeling district police chief Kunal Agarwal, who confirmed the arrests, said they are yet to obtain information. “The duo has spilled some information which we need to verify. Also, they would be interrogated further for more information about recent activities of the outfit,” he said.

Yesterday, along with Mohan and Sebok Burman, police have also arrested Aloti Singha, a woman leader of KPP and resident of Gossainpur near Bagdogra.

“She had given shelter to these two militants on their arrival in the region February 21,” police sources said. “We need to find out whether she has connections with the outfit.”

All the three were produced at the ACJM court here today. Santosh Pathak, the ACJM-in-charge, granted 12 days’ police custody to them, Akhil Biswas, the lawyer representing the trio, said.