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Expansion of army bases worries ULFA
K Anurag in Guwahati | September 16, 2006 16:16 IST
The banned United Liberation Front of Asom is peeved at the Indian Army's plan to expand two of its permanent bases in insurgency-affected Assam giving ample indication that the militant group continues to consider the Army a 'colonial force' notwithstanding the peace initiative to facilitate peace talks with the outfit.
The ULFA commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah who is suspected to be in Bangladesh, in a statement e-mailed to the media stated that the expansion of army bases at Misa in Nagaon district and Changsari in Kamrup district was not in tune with New Delhi's decision to suspend army operation against the ULFA.
The ULFA leader said that expansion of the army base would lead to displacement of large number of 'our people' from their land and it would pave way for more militarisation of the state.
The ULFA statement came a day after New Delhi decided to accord another extension of suspension of army operation against the militant group till September 20 giving the group more time to send in the letter of commitment to sit for direct talks with the government.
It was the third extension of the suspension of army operation accorded after ULFA negotiators Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami and Rebati Phukon made the request.
The ULFA commander, however stated that, 'Despite extending the olive branch, colonialist India has planned to displace hundreds of our people to create space for another military installation.
'The expansion of army bases will lead to eviction of people, destruction of tea gardens and will cause harm to the eco system.'
The ULFA leader further alleged that the government would set up a nuclear research center on the land that had been acquired for expansion of army bases to process and enrich uranium found in the state of Meghalaya.Security sources pointed out that the hard posture of the ULFA against expansion of army bases would not augur well for the ongoing peace initiative as it was going against the efforts to build mutual trust and confidence to find a peaceful solution to the insurgency problem.