An organisation of surrendered militants from the United
Liberation Front of Asom (collectively known as SULFA, "s" for
surrendered) on Thursday clarified that it is not part of any political
At a press conference, former ULFA publicity chief Sunil Nath said the
Asom Jatiya Mahasabha, formed mainly by former militants, is not part of
any political party. "Most of us (former ULFA members) are members of
the newly-formed AJM, and our office bearers are debarred from contesting elections or taking active part in it," Nath said. Nath, as Siddhartha Phukan, was the central spokesman and publicity secretary of the ULFA till he surrendered in 1992.
Clarifying some questions raised by political parties including the Congress, Nath said that the mahasabha was non-political and its members were engaged in economic activities like agriculture and business.
Nath, along with other former ULFA leaders Lohit Deuri and Kalpajyoti
Neog, said they were aware that at least two former ULFA members have applied for Congress nominations to contest the elections.
"They are former armed wing deputy chief Chakra Gohain and former Lakhimpur district commander Prafulla Bora alias Dhekial Phukan," Nath said. Both, he said, were not members of the AJM.
The Congress had raised the spectre of the ruling Asom Gana Parishad
using the SULFA to rig the ensuing Assam assembly elections.
He also described as undemocratic a Congress demand to the Election Commission that their arms be seized before the elections. "All arms owned by SULFA members are legal
and licenced, and nobody can seize them under the law," the former
militant leader said.
When asked about the 300 former ULFA members who had joined the AGP a few months ago, Nath said, "We have nothing to say about them. It is their democratic right.
After all, those who have quit the ULFA have taken oath to lead a lawful
and peaceful life."
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