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ULFA refutes allegations of 'ISI links'
K Anurag in Guwahati | March 23, 2007 18:03 IST
The banned United Liberation Front of Asom Friday refuted allegations by the Indian Army about the insurgent group hatching a sinister design to carry out serial blasts in the state in coordination with Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence.
The military spokesman of the insurgent group, self-styled major Raju Baruah in an e-mailed statement issued to media termed as 'baseless and figment of imagination' the media reports that quoted an Indian Army official as saying that ULFA was conspiring with the Pakistani ISI to detonate 20 bombs
According to the media report, the Indian Army colonel disclosed this in a meeting of businessmen held at Sonari in Upper Assam's oil and hydro-carbon rich Sivasagar district.
Refuting the allegation, the ULFA stated that the militant group which had already lost over 10,000 of its cadres in the armed struggle for 'restoration of sovereignty of Assam' would not require the help of the ISI to continue its struggle against `Indian occupation forces'.
The ULFA spokesman termed the allegation part of conspiracy by the army to carry out subversion in the state and blame it on ULFA. The insurgent group warned the people of Assam to remain alert against such designs.
The ULFA stated that it was still strong enough to carry on with its struggle on its own.
However, police and security forces operating in Assam firmly believe that there was a close link between the ULFA and the ISI, that hopes to keep India's North East boiling.
The security agencies maintain that many senior ULFA leaders including its fugitive commander in chief Paresh Barua, who is suspected to be taking shelter in Bangladesh, had visited Pakistan for training with the help of the ISI.
It is for the first time that the banned ULFA has denied having any links with the ISI. It may be mentioned that Assam police had arrested four ISI agents in Guwahati in 1999. The police suspect that many ISI operatives and Islamic ultras sponsored by the ISI had infiltrated the state through the porous international borders in western and southern sectors of Assam.