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Army launches operation against ULFA ultras in Assam sanctuary
K Anurag in Guwahati | October 07, 2006 17:02 IST
The army, engaged in counter-insurgency operation in Assam, has launched an intensive operation inside the sprawling Dibru-Saikhowa National Park along Assam-Arunachal Pradesh boundary in Tinsukia district to flush out United Liberation Front of Asom militants suspected to be hiding inside it.
A defence source informed that the army airdropped commandos inside the dense forest of Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, also a world famous rainforest reserve, to add teeth to the operation hitherto conducted by the troops on the ground.
The troops have mounted the operation in the entire forest cover along Assam's boundary with Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland right from Tinsukia district in the east to Sivasagar district in the west.
Security sources informed that the banned ULFA was taking advantage of the recent suspension of army operation during the now botched peace initiative.
The ULFA have regrouped in a massive way and launched a vigorous extortion drive to mobilise funds.
The army operation was suspended by the government of India from August 14 to September 20 last giving ULFA time to send in a letter of commitment for talks.
It is for the second time in a year the army launched the combing operation in Dibru-Saikhowa sanctuary.
Earlier, such an operation was launched on August 31, 2005, in which the troops managed to corner several top rung leaders of the militant group.
However, the operation had to be called off midway on September 28, 2005, in the wake of the banned ULFA nominating its team of negotiators, the People's Consultative Group, to prepare ground for peace talks with the central government.
The Dibru-Saikhowa national park connects forest areas in Assam to the dense forest of Arunachal Pradesh and the banned ULFA utilises the inaccessible and hostile terrain as a safe corridor as well as shelter to dodge army and police.
The army have remained skeptical about ULFA's sincerity to come forward for talks with the central government and forewarned that the militant group was going to take the opportunity to bolster its depleting strength and cash reserve.