Heads of the Unified Command—a coordinated body of Assam government, Army, paramilitary forces, Intelligence agencies and police—went into a huddle on Wednesday to draw up the blueprint for an all-out anti-Ulfa operation in Assam.
The announcement of the fresh offensive against the outfit following the massacre of 69 Hindi-speaking migrant labourers had already been made by Defence minister AK Antony at the Army’s 4th Corps headquarters in Tezpur on Tuesday.
“It should suffice to say that we have chalked out a strategic plan to counter the terror tactics being applied by the Ulfa,” said Assam police chief R.N. Mathur after the meeting. Refusing to divulge anything more, he said the operation has started showing results with three Ulfa militants being nabbed at Udalguri near the Indo-Bhutan border on Wednesday. This followed the killing of four Ulfa hitmen during the past 48 hours.
The militants, an army officer said from the conflict zone, were probably trying to sneak into Bhutan where the Ulfa is believed to have re-established at least three camps. Thimphu, though, has been denying the return of the militants after being ferreted out in 2003.
Wednesday was also marked by a steady flow of political leaders to the violence affected eastern Assam. While chemicals minister Ram Vilas Paswan—the district authorities allegedly prevented him from going to sensitive areas—left for New Delhi after an overnight stay, Samajwadi Party heavyweights Amar Singh and Jaya Bachchan had a swipe at the Congress for allowing the “Ulfa become the monster it is today”.
The BJP chief recalled how the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government had in 2003 co-ordinated with Myanmar and Bhutan to flush out Ulfa insurgents out of those countries.