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AIR to verify reports of ULFA links

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | December 31, 2003 14:08 IST
Last Updated: December 31, 2003 14:45 IST

Prasar Bharti chief K S Sarma late on Tuesday night said he will verify allegations that an All India Radio employee has links with the United Liberation Front of Asom, a banned outfit operating in Assam.

About 10 days back, Intelligence Bureau sleuths had reportedly approached Sarma, who is also the officiating director general of AIR, for permission to question an employee of AIR's Assamese division.

She is one of the casual workers that AIR recruits from time to time for news reading, script writing and translation work and has been with AIR for over one-and-a-half years now.

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IB suspects AIR employee helped ULFA

The bureau suspects she is the wife of a top ULFA militant. Apart from her routine work as newsreader-cum-translator, it suspects she had been writing press releases on behalf of ULFA and distributing them to mediapersons.

She has been reportedly taken off the duty roster pending investigations.

Geetanjali Medhi contacted on phone to clarify that she is not absconding and that she has been in touch with the investigating officer of the Delhi police on a regular basis.

"I am not attending office due to security concerns. My name has been unnecessarily dragged into this controversy. I am victim of the rivalry between two factions," she said.

A native of Nalbari district in Assam, she now plans to shift back to Assam once the investigation is over.

Hiron Lal Dutta, who retires as the director of the Assamese division of AIR on December 31, 2003, admitted that a Delhi police team had contacted him on December 21 and asked him to investigate the charges against some of his subordinates. However, he denied any knowledge about the alleged links between any of his employees and ULFA.

"I must clarify that I did not ask for voluntary retirement fearing repercussions of the investigation being carried out by the police. I had applied for voluntary retirement in August 2003 and was asked to stay on till December 31," he said.

The investigating officer of the case refused to say anything on the matter.

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Read about: Bihar vs Assam | Assam and the ULFA

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