Indian agencies deny ULFA leader injured in MyanmarSeptember 10th, 2011 - 5:58 pm ICT by IANS
Guwahati, Sep 10 (IANS) Media reports that elusive commander-in-chief of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) Paresh Baruah was injured in a military offensive by the Myanmarese junta have been denied by the Indian intelligence agencies.
“We have no hard intelligence to indicate that Baruah is injured in Myanmar. Radio intercepts of the ULFA leaders communicating with leaders of other rebel groups in the last few days also do not suggest or hint at anything abnormal happening inside Myanmar,” an Indian intelligence official told IANS on condition of anonymity.
There were speculations in the media that Baruah survived the military offensive launched by the Myanmarese Army but was injured in the attack.
The reports could not be denied or confirmed independently from the ULFA.
The ULFA commander-in-chief is believed to be entrenched somewhere in the Sagaing division of northern Myanmar with an estimated 100-150 cadre - the same area is also the base of at least half-a-dozen other militant groups from the Indian northeast.
The Baruah faction of the ULFA, in an email Wednesday, claimed rebel bases of the outfit and some other northeast militant groups were attacked by Myanmarese troops.
“The Burmese Army has been aided with heavy arms and ammunition by India and the gunfights would get severe in the days ahead,” said the statement signed by the faction’s publicity chief Arunodoi Dohotia.
On Thursday, the ULFA faction in another statement released a photograph of Baruah wielding a rusty AK series assault rifle and wearing blue socks and donning a camouflage cap.
Myanmar from time to time, especially with the onset of the winter, launches military operations in the rough and hostile northern region to flush out Indian militants.
“These attacks are nothing new and we always find the Indian government backing Myanmar in carrying out such offensives,” a National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-Khaplang) leader told IANS.
The ULFA’s mainstream leadership offered a unilateral ceasefire in July and with New Delhi signed a truce accord last week aimed at pulling the curtains down on one of northeast India’s longest running rebellions. The ULFA was fighting for an independent homeland since 1979.
The pro-talks majority faction led by chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, however, is now not seeking an independent homeland and instead wants protection of the cultural and economic rights of the indigenous Assamese.
The peace process started after Bangladesh arrested four top ULFA leaders, including Rajkhowa, in 2009 and handed them over to India.
But Baruah is opposed to the peace talks and from time to time accuses the pro-talk leaders of being puppets in the hands of the Indian government.
More than 10,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in Assam during the past two decades.
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- ULFA split, Paresh Baruah rejects Feb 10 peace talks - Feb 07, 2011
- Peaceniks counter ULFA with volleyball - Apr 06, 2012
- First round of ULFA peace talks begins Thursday - Feb 09, 2011
- Split in ULFA? Baruah slams peace talks - Aug 10, 2011
- Alert in Assam over ULFA strike threat - Jul 22, 2011
- ULFA offers ceasefire to pave way for talks (Lead) - Jul 12, 2011
- Five injured in blast at Congress office; 8 BSF men killed (Intro Roundup) - Mar 15, 2011
- Confident of Myanmar acting tough against NE rebels: India - Jun 01, 2012
- ULFA dismiss Pillai's claim on Paresh Baruah - Feb 17, 2012
- ULFA team heads for talks with government - Aug 04, 2011
- Three pro-talk ULFA members held for robbery, murders - Aug 20, 2012
- Four injured in blast at Congress office; four BSF men killed (Roundup) - Mar 15, 2011
- ULFA founder Rajkhowa held in Bangladesh, handed over to India (Night Lead) - Dec 02, 2009
- Talks successful, we are hopeful: Rajkhowa - Apr 09, 2012
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