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ULFA recruiting Bangladeshi youth to spread terror
November 23, 2006 11:18 IST
Unable to recruit young people from Assam for its operations, the banned United Liberation Front of Asom was now recruiting poor Bangladeshi youths into its ranks for acts of terrorism in the country, according to intelligence sources.
"These days, ULFA is finding it difficult to recruit Assamese youth in its ranks. It is now learnt to be recruiting young people from poor families of Bangladesh," the sources told PTI.
Stating that the chief of ULFA's army wing, Paresh Barua, is known to have visited Pakistan to seek its assistance in the outfit's activities, the sources said Pakistani youths were also likely to 'very soon' join in the outfit's activities.
"In times to come, militancy in Assam will be hijacked by these elements and ULFA will only be a facade and a nominal force tagging along," the sources said, but declined to disclose how soon they expected this to happen.
Pointing out that the people of Guwahati quickly restored normalcy after the November 5 twin blasts that left 13 people dead and over 50 injured, the sources expressed apprehension that the ULFA would now seek soft targets like school children and patients.
"There is a nagging anxiety that the ULFA may become even more desperate and attack school children and hospitals, the most vulnerable of the lot. Anything dastardly and cowardly as this can now be expected and people should be prepared," they said, claiming that the ULFA's influence on the people of Assam was now on the wane.
According to the sources, the November 5 blasts at Guwahati and Noonmati were directed at non-Assamese residents.
"The aim of these attacks is to create an atmosphere of insecurity, cause community-centric divide and precipitate an exodus of non-Assamese out of the state. The Brahmaputra Mail, which left Guwahati on November 6 after the blasts, was overcrowded with migrant passengers, mostly women and children from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar," they said.
Claiming that the ULFA had used the ceasefire to regroup and re-arm itself to take on the armed forces, the sources said that the security forces and the police were aware of the 'ruse' and had warned the state administration in advance.
Pointing out that the explosion at Guwahati was known to have been triggered by a "timed and programmable device," they said that the design and technology had probably been provided by militant outfits of Pakistan or Bangladesh.
"The recent spate of firing along the Indo-Bangladesh border was probably designed to aid intrusions of militants into Assam with a view to create a Jammu and Kashmir-like situation there," they said.
According to the sources, signs of division have appeared in the ULFA's rank and file with moderates openly coming out against violence and the notion of soverignty.
"For the ULFA hardliners soverignty now means Assam's integration within a greater Islamic state comprising Bangladesh and Pakistan as a loose confederation," the sources said.