Mosquitoes take on ultras
Malaria and encephalitis have claimed at least one-fifth of the Ulfa?s cadre in the past 20 yrs, reports Rahul Karmakar.india Updated: May 02, 2006 13:32 IST
Mosquitoes are leaving a stinging impact on the fight between the military and militants across the Northeast. At least half a dozen malaria victims being treated in various hospitals in Assam are under surveillance on suspicion of being Ulfa members. They were apparently driven out of their jungle hideouts by mosquitoes.
According to the police, malaria and encephalitis have claimed at least one-fifth of the Ulfa’s 3,000 cadre in the past couple of decades. “It seems, these pests are doing what the armed forces are supposed to do but they have claimed many security personnel too,” said a police officer. Figures reveal that 10-15 security personnel posted in difficult zones for counter-insurgency die every year.
The police claim to have caught some 40 Ulfa members seeking treatment for malaria in private clinics in recent years. “Since militants have a tendency to avoid government hospitals and clinics, we’ve put private establishments under surveillance,” said an officer in Assam. He said at least two malaria patients in Jorhat are suspected of being Ulfa cadres.
Malaria accounts for an average 100 deaths every year in Assam. It has already killed over 75 people since March-end.