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Assam: A state on the boil
K Anurag in Guwahati | June 13, 2006 16:14 IST
A militant belonging to the banned United Liberation Front of Asom was killed in an 'encounter' with the police on Tuesday in Guwahati's Birubari hill area.
Police have said that the militant, believed to have been called Amal Nath, was killed early Tuesday morning, when the they acted on a tip-off and lay siege to his hideout. They also recovered a 7.62 pistol and some detonators.
Meanwhile, the army, which was lying low after the Assembly elections, has geared up operations in Upper Assam's violece-affected districts of Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar and Jorhat. It has moved into ULFA strongholds at Lakhipathar and Charaipung forest areas in Tinsukia district.
Official sources have said that the Army will be in charge of counter-insurgency operations in Upper Assam and also act on specific information in some districts in lower Assam.
Meanwhile, the ULFA-nominated People's Consultative Group, which is slated to hold talks with the Indian government on June 22, is keeping its fingers crossed over the fate of the peace initiative. It has asked the security forces and ULFA to observe restraint in order to give peace talks a chance. A source in the PCG has said that the recent spell of violence will not augur well.
The PCG is also perturbed by Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee's statement that the government is not aware of ULFA's demand for the release of its jailed senior leaders. Such a statement, it believes, will give ULFA the wrong signals.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had stated that his government would not oppose the release of 'certain' ULFA leaders, if the central government okayed it.
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