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Home > News > Report

Fasting wives of 'missing' ULFA leaders arrested

K Anurag in Guwahati | March 30, 2007 18:45 IST

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Assam police on Friday took into custody the fasting wives of six 'missing' leaders of the banned United Liberation Front of Asom on charges of 'attempt to commit suicide' and admitted them in hospital.

The women were on a fast unto death since March 21, 2006, demanding information on the whereabouts of their husbands -- all hardcore ULFA leaders who went 'missing' following their arrest in the wake of anti-ULFA operations by Royal Bhutan Army in Bhutan during December 2003.

Meanwhile, People's Committee for Peace in Assam on Friday condemned the police action to arrest the fasting wives of 'missing' ULFA leaders.

In a statement issued to the media, PCPIA chief coordinator Lachit Bardoloi termed the police action as a part of an undemocratic design to gag the agitation demanding whereabouts of the 'missing' ULFA leaders -- Ashanta Baghphukan, Robin Neog, Ponaram Dihingia alias Prakash Gogoi, Naba Changmai alias Muhi Dihingia, Bening Rabha and Nilu Chakrabarty.

The PCPIA, which staged a sit-in demonstration in protest against the arrest of the fasting women, threatened to launch a state-wide mass movement against the police action and demanded that the government provide information about those ULFA leaders who went missing after they had been handed over to the Indian authorities by Bhutan authorities following their arrest by the Royal Bhutan Army in Bhutan during 'Operation All Clear' in December 2003.

Meanwhile, Congress Lok Sabha Member from Assam Kirip Chaliha on Friday said there were still chances for revival of the peace process with the banned ULFA, provided the initiative was taken in a proper manner by maintaining secrecy.

He said lessons should be taken from the Mizo and Naga peace process for finding a solution to the ULFA problem.

The MP said there was no need for holding a plebiscite as demanded by different quarters, including the ULFA on its demand for 'restoration of sovereignty of Assam.'

The women who were on the fast unto death were: Jnama Moran alias Shyamolee Gogoi (wife of Ponaram Dihingia), Padumi Timungpi alias Juri Ingtipi (W/O Robin Neog), Manomati Barman alias Kabita Chakrabarty (W/O Nilu Chakrabarty), Malina Ingtipi alias Hema Hansipi (W/O Ashanta Baghphukon), Anima Devi (W/O Bening Rabha), Menaka Changmai alias Minakshi Changmai (W/O Naba Changmai).