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Ulfa chief hiding in China: reports

delhi Updated: Nov 15, 2011 01:23 IST
Sanjib Kr Baruah

The leader of the anti-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) Paresh Barua is now firmly entrenched in the Chinese border town of Ruili, intelligence sources have said.

"For the last one month, Barua has been sitting in Ruili in China's Yunnan province, although his cadres and other northeastern insurgency groups have moved to new locations by moving another 10 km deeper into the jungles from the earlier bastion of Taga," an intelligence official said.

"The camps were shifted on the directions of the Myanmarese authorities who had made a show of launching anti-insurgency operation in a bid to pacify India which had been demanding action."

While Barua is in the Chinese border town famous for its jade trade, his 250 heavily-armed fighters, have moved to the new location about 10 km south-west of Taga. Located in a Kachin-dominated area of Myanmar, Taga is about 70 km away from the Indo-Myanmar border. It is also home to insurgents from the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN), United National Liberation Front (a Manipuri outfit) and others.

Intelligence sources believe the Paresh Barua faction to have recouped and organised its operational strength with new recruitments from the Upper Assam districts of Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Sivasgar.

From November 2010 to June 2011, it is said to have recruited more than hundred youths who have been sent for arms and operational training in the Myanmar-China border.

While Barua remains adamant on sovereignty to Assam, another faction headed by Ulfa chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa has initiated a process of parleys with the government with safeguards for the indigenous Assamese as one of the core planks in the talks agenda.

The Ulfa was formed in Sivasgar 32 years ago by six individuals including Arabinda Rajkhowa with complete sovereignty and independence from India as its avowed goal. More than 12,000 people have lost their lives in Assam in a three-decade long insurgency.