Top ULFA explosives expert gunned down in Assam

December 5th, 2008 - 3:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, Dec 5 (IANS) A ‘most wanted’ terrorist and a frontline explosives expert of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) was killed by security forces in Assam Friday, officials said.Tapan Rai was gunned down by a joint team of army and Assam police commandos near village Belguri in Kokrajhar district, around 250 km west of here.

“Based on specific inputs, a joint army and police team challenged Rai and was later killed after a brief encounter,” army spokesperson Col R. Kalia said.

“Tapan Rai was a dreaded ULFA militant and one of the key explosives experts of the outfit’s 709 battalion who was involved in a number of violent strikes in the state.”

Security forces recovered an AK-81 assault rifle, ammunition, besides photographs and documents relating to the ULFA.

Rai’s family members said he was lured into the outfit way back in 1990.

“My son was lured by some ULFA leaders and we haven’t met him since 1992. He was involved in operations of the ULFA in western Assam,” Tapan’s father Mineswar Rai said.

The ULFA had received a major setback in June when two of its potent striking units, the A and C companies of the 28th battalion entered into a ceasefire with the government.

The 709 and the 29th battalion of the ULFA, besides the Bravo company of the 28th battalion, are now active.

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