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Home > News > Report

ULFA wives withdraw fast

K Anurag in Guwahati | April 27, 2007 18:34 IST

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Six wives of 'missing' leaders of the banned United Liberation Front of Asom, who have been on a fast unto death since March 21 demanding information on the whereabouts of their husbands, agreed to withdrew their fast on being requested by Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday.

Their decision has apparently foiled the 'design' of the banned ULFA hatched in coordination with its sympathiser groups in civil society to build up a human rights violation case against the government.

The ULFA, in a statement issued to the media earlier this month, threatened to move international human rights court against the government of India for its failure to provide information about its 'missing ' leaders.

These women were on a fast seeking information on their husbands (all ULFA leaders) -- Ashanta Baghphukon, Robin Neog, Bening Rabha, Nilu Chakraborty, Ponaram Dihingia, Naba Changmai -- who allegedly went 'missing' following their 'handover' to the Indian authority by Bhutan after their arrest during Operation All Clear carried out by the Royal Bhutan Army against ULFA base in that country in December 2003.

However, the fasting women Jnama Moran alias Shyamolee Gogoi, Padumi Timungpi alias Juri Ingtipi, Manomati Barman alias Kabita Chakraborty, Malina Ingtipi alias Hema Hansipi, Anima Devi, Menaka Changmai alias Minakshi Changmai agreed to withdraw their agitation after Gogoi had sent them a letter through Health Minister Dr Himanta Bishwa Sharma requesting them to call off their fast.

Gogoi, in the letter, informed the women that the state government had submitted before Guwahati high court whatever information that was in its possession about ULFA leaders and cadres handed over to it by the Bhutan authority.

He also assured the women on trying to find more information about their missing husbands and offered to provide all possible help to arrange for proper education of their children.

The Assam police earlier took the fasting women into custody on the night of March 30 and admitted them to Guwahati Medical College Hospital. Since then, they have been on life saving drip without any solid food.

The women had even knocked the doors of the high court for respite after their appeals to the government apparently fell on deaf ears.

In their petition filed before the court, they claimed that their husbands were handed over to the Indian Army after they had been apprehended by the Royal Bhutan Army in December 2003, but since then they had remained 'missing'.

The case is now awaiting final verdict from the court.