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Number of ULFA personnel dwindling: Army
K Anurag in Guwahati | April 26, 2008 18:21 IST
The banned United Liberation Front of Assom has only 100 cadres left in southern Assam, the Army has claimed. The statement comes in the wake of the surrender of 27 ULFA cadres at the Tamulpur Army base in Udalguri district of Assam.
The General Officer Commanding of the Horn Division of the Army, Major General Chandra Prakash, claimed that growing disillusionment had driven a large number of ULFA cadres to surrender and join the mainstream. Prakash had presided over the surrender ceremony of the 27 ULFA cadres.
The Army claimed that the ULFA's 709 battalion, which has been very active in southern Assam, has become considerably weak in view of so many cadres surrendering. The 27th and 109th battalion of the outfit, which are active in southern and central Assam, are also headed the same way.
The Army's claim about the dwindling cadre strength of the ULFA corroborated Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's recent claims about the waning influence of the outfit among the masses.
"The people of Assam are no longer interested or bothered about what the ULFA is doing. The situation in the state is normal, sans any disruption, despite the occasional acts of violence perpetrated by the ULFA," Gogoi had said.
Despite the waning influence of the ULFA, the Assam government is in no mood to curtail its operations against any of the insurgent groups. The state government has decided to constitute a special task force within its police force to deal exclusively with insurgency and has already appointed a separate Inspector General rank officer to shoulder the responsibility.
Meanwhile, the central government has instructed the state government to prepare a specific counter-insurgency action plan, focused on the five most insurgency affected districts in the state.
The banned ULFA's bastion is now confined to the three eastern Assam districts of Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Sivasagar. The two hill districts of North Cachar Hill district and Karbi Anglong are worst affected by militancy because of the presence of numerous tribal and non-tribal militant groups.