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Assam: Top ULFA militant killed

September 13, 2008 00:12 IST

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A top United Liberation Front of Asom insurgent was killed on Friday in an encounter with the army in upper Assam's Tinsukia district along the Arunachal Pradesh border and ULFA accused the the pro-talk outfit for the killing.

The outfit's former commander Probal Neog was expelled from the general membership of the banned outfit following the incident.

ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa in a statement e-mailed to the media alleged that Neog had threatened Shashanka Barua, a self-styled 'lieutenant', with 'dire consequences' if he did not join the pro-talk faction.

He urged the other cadres of the outfit and people of Assam to boycott Neog.

Acting on a tip-off about Barua entering Assam from Arunachal Pradesh, soldiers of 19 Kumaon Regiment surrounded the Dirak area and launched an operation to nab him.

In the encounter that followed, Barua was killed on the the spot and an AK-47 assault rifle was recovered from his possession.

Barua belonged to anti-talks faction of ULFA's 28 battalion whose 'a' and 'c' companies had declared unilateral ceasefire and desired talks to resolve the decades-long conflict.

Spokesman of the outfit's pro-talk faction Jiten Dutta denied Rajkhowa's allegation as 'baseless' saying Neog was with other cadres at Majuli helping the flood-affected people.

"The statement was probably made to create a rift in the rank and file of ULFA to disturb the talk process," he added.

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