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ULFA demands army pullout over 'encounter' death
K Anurag in Guwahati | May 11, 2007 23:53 IST
The banned insurgents of the United Liberation Front of Asom have demanded withdrawal of the Indian Army from the state for protection of human rights of common and innocent civilians in the wake of a 'fake encounter' killing of a youth that has sparked mass protest in the eastern part of Assam.
In a statement e-mailed to the media in Guwahati on Friday evening, the outfit's chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa stated that the killing of 'innocent youth' Budheswar Moran, by the army in the wee hours of May 6 last at Laopatty village in Tinsukia district was another 'glaring' example of how lives of common people in the state have been subjected to torture and atrocities by the Indian Army engaged in counter-insurgency operations.
The army has admitted to possible lapses in the 'encounter' killing of Moran and ordered an 'impartial probe' into it to punish the guilty.
The state government too has instituted a separate commissioner-level inquiry into the killing of Moran that has triggered mass protests by the people who have positioned themselves on the arterial National Highway 37 in different locations in eastern Assam.
The ULFA leader termed the probes ordered into the killing by the state government and the army as nothing but 'hogwash' aimed at neutralising mass rising and criticised the army from desisting to give a commitment not to commit such lapses again.
The militant leader made light of Assam government's announcement of granting Rs 3 lakh as ex-gratia to the family of the slain criticising the government of putting a mere Rs 3 lakh price tag on the life of an innocent Assamese youth.
The ULFA leaders cautioned the protesting masses against being mellowed down by the army's promise to probe the killing and punish the guilty as there were instances where such guilty army men were given promotion instead of punishment.
The ULFA chairman also called upon the people to intensify their agitation demanding withdrawal of the army from the state.