'ULFA has links with ISI, B'desh spy agency'
The top leaders of ULFA have close links with Pakistan's intelligence network agency ISI and have been enjoying patronage of Bangladeshi spy agency DGFI, a former senior leader of the banned outfit claimed on Friday.
"The top ULFA leadership has close links with ISI, DGFI and some Islamic organisations. Without their support, it is not possible for anyone to have bases in Bangladesh," Mrinal Hazarika, former chief of ULFA's 28th Battalion, who had come overground deserting the organisation along with 150 other cadres, told reporters here.
The so-called battalion was one of the fierce wings of the ULFA and was allegedly responsible for a number of killings, abduction and extortion in Assam in the past.
Hazarika, who described his group as pro-talks, said the ULFA has several camps, offices and shelter places in Bangladesh, including some in cities.
"All these have been running with the consent of the official agencies of that country," he claimed.
He said ULFA, which has been fighting for a separate home land for the last three decades, has no camps in China but a few offices and shelter places.
Hazarika, however, admitted that ULFA had sent its cadres to Pakistan-Afghanistan borders for training till two years ago.
Asked about the whereabout of ULFA's leaders like Paresh Baruah and Arabinda Rajkhowa, Hazarika said it was difficult to say where they are now as they regularly travel to different countries.
"But mostly they are based in Bangladesh," he said.
Giving the reasons of their becoming overground, Hazarika said they have realised that the demand of sovereignty has no justification and they wanted to have negotiations with the central government to solve the problems of Assam.
"We are annoyed with the top leadership of ULFA. Despite getting a written statement from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that all core issues would be discussed by the Central government, they failed to respond positively and come forward for talks," he said.
"The pro-talk group of ULFA offers the proposal of complete autonomous council within the constitutional limits of India as an alternative to that of independent of Assam. This is an attempt to culminate the 29 years long strife between Assam and India and so as to build the foundation of a strong Assam and India as well," Hazarika said.