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Assam calls for army deployment in state
June 27, 2004 20:48 IST
Rattled by a series of bomb explosion by the proscribed United Liberation Front of Asom in upper Assam, the state administration has sent an SOS to the defence ministry for immediate deployment of army to stop violence.
According to army sources in Guwahati, the state home ministry had sent a message to the defence ministry and following which the army was all set to conduct operation in the disturbed 'ULFA infested' districts of Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sibsagar and Jorhat.
Upper Assam of late has witnessed a spurt in violent activities by the ULFA resulting in bomb blast in cinema hall and market place (in Tinsukia) and in a private bus (Sibsagar) killing several people.
Taking the current situation in view the government has requested the army to carry operation, the details of which will be chalked out in a high level official meeting scheduled to be held in the state capital Guwahati tomorrow, sources said.
The sources said the army would initially man the border areas of Assam, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh as these are the corridors of movement of the ULFA ultras.
The sources claimed that of late the ULFA had been very active in the region with help of a Naga outfit for logistic support in their camps in the jungles on the borders of these states.
After the operation by the Royal Bhutan army, this would be the second such offensive and the army had already ordered its battalions to reach upper Assam border areas, which would be the initial scene of action, sources said.
The army had also taken note of the fact that the ULFA and the Naga outfit had come to an understanding to launch "joint operations" until their demands for negotiations were met.
Although the ULFA chairman Arabindo Rajkhowa has reportedly shown desire for talks, hardliners led by commander in chief Paresh Baruah has insisted on the three conditions -- talks to be held in a foreign country, under UN supervision and centering around the issue of sovereignty of the state.
Both the state and central government have already rejected the sovereignty demand.
Sources said a 14 member ULFA group was currently operating in the border areas of upper Assam and there was an "agreement" with other insurgent outfits active in the region to go for fresh recruitment following the formation of a new "forum" among the insurgents.
More reports from Assam
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