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Home > News > Report

Top leaders' arrest: ULFA feels the heat

K Anurag in Guwahati | September 18, 2007 19:09 IST

The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) is feeling the heat. Three of its four active battalions are without commanders now.


A senior police official said it was a lethal blow to the outfit when Prabal Neog, the most- wanted commander of the outfit's highly active 28th battalion was apprehended by the police at Tezpur on Monday.


The 28th battalion, which has been carrying out ULFA operations in eastern and central Assam districts, has been rendered headless by the arrest of Prabal Neog.


Prabal Neog was put in charge of the 28th battalion last year after his predecessor Mrinal Hazarika was arrested by the West Bengal police in Siliguri. As the commander of the 28th battalion, Prabal Neog has been giving tough time to security forces by masterminding dastardly killings of scores of Hindi-speaking settlers in Eastern and Central Assam areas since January this year.


He was involved in planning over 50 bomb blasts in the state besides coordinating all major extortions operations of the outfit in eastern Assam tea and oil belts.


Two other battalions of the outfit, the 27th and 109, have been forced to keep a low profile of late as in absence of commanders. The commander of 27th battalion, Pallab Saikia, was arrested by police sometime back while commander of ULFA's 109 battalion, Lal Deka was killed in a recent encounter with police in Goalpara district.


According to a police source, the ULFA leadership recently appointed a new commander to its 27th battalion, but he has been not as active as the earlier commander much to the relief of security forces.


In fact, the arrested Prabal Neog was coordinating with the 27th battalion during the carnage of Hindi-speaking settlers in Karbi Anglong hill district in August this year.


The only ULFA battalion that is now operating with a commander is the 709 which is led by another most-wanted militant leader Hira Sarania who masterminded the abduction of the FCI executive director (North East) P C Ram who was later killed in crossfire with the police while being in the ULFA's captivity.