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Ulfa heading for split, claims army

Electronic intercepts by the army indicate such a possibility for perhaps the only outfit in the Northeast that has kept factionalism at bay, reports Rahul Karmakar.

india Updated: Sep 27, 2007 02:37 IST
Rahul Karmakar

Is the "depleted and desperate” Ulfa heading for a split? Electronic intercepts by the army indicate such a possibility for perhaps the only outfit in the Northeast that has kept factionalism at bay.

According to Lt Gen BS Jaswal, GOC of Tezpur-based Gajraj Corps, e-intercepts have revealed growing internecine clashes in the Ulfa leadership and disenchantment among the cadres. “A split may take place,” he said, adding that the desperation was forcing the Ulfa to attack soft targets and outsource terror. The security forces had a whiff of leadership crisis within the Ulfa following the arrest last week of Prabal Neog, commander of the outfit’s dreaded 28th battalion. Intelligence officials said a top-ranking Ulfa leader keen on removing Neog had tipped the security forces about his movements.

Coupled with internal problems, the Ulfa has been under tremendous physical and psychological pressure exerted by the security forces besides facing public anger, the GOC said.

Under the circumstances, Jaswal did not rule out the possibility of Ulfa pursuing ceasefire again.“But there should not be any unilateral ceasefire with these terrorists reduced to a group of about 600. As is the case with other groups, they must be made to stay in designated camps and lock up their arms before any truce is made,” he said. The outfit had in September 2005 formed a mediator group to pursue ceasefire that was enforced informally for nearly two months last year.