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The new face of Ulfa

The outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom is making hay while the sun shines.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2006 03:50 IST

The outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom is making hay while the sun shines. As the Union government has been consulting the outfit-appointed People's Consultative Group to reach out for peace talks, the Ulfa is quietly making its force strong. It has recently started a massive recruitment drive.

Intelligence agencies came across the new face of the Ulfa during the August 4 -7 attacks on security forces. Sleuths failed to foil the outfit's plans as they were unable to recognize the fresh recruits.

A 15-year-old boy had hurled a grenade on a CRPF truck at the Bhojo railway station in Sibsagar district.

In the grenade attack on army convoy in Tinsukia, in which two Army jawans were killed, two young boys were involved. The Digboi grenade attack on a CRPF convoy was no different —two new Ulfa cadres were found responsible.

The two cadres killed in front of the Army's GOC 4 Core headquarter in Mission Chariali, Tezpur, while carrying explosives, were just 14-15 years of age.

According to Khagen Sarma, Assam police IGP (Special Branch), the main reasons for the Ulfa’s new recruitment drive are the recent mass surrenders and killing of its cadres by security forces. "Ulfa leaders are recruiting young boys in interior areas,” he said.

Ulfa's lower Assam commander, Hira Sarania has been active in Baska district under Bodo Territorial Council. Under his direction about 300 boys were recruited.

There were reports that the Ulfa has started re-establishing its bases in the hills of Bhutan. They had suffered a major setback in December, 2003 when the Royal Bhutan Army launched ‘Operation All Clear’.