GUWAHATI: The Assam Police is keeping a close watch on activities relating to the ULFA-I amid reports of new recruits joining the Paresh Baruah-led militant outfit.
Police sources said that apart from vigil on the ground, the Assam Police is also monitoring the social media for pro-ULFA-I posts and blogs. In the last six months, the Assam Police contacted the Facebook (FB) authority and succeeded in having six pro-ULFA-I FB pages blocked. Three other FB pages are being closely monitored, the sources informed.
Regarding the recent caution issued to the Superintendents of Police concerned about possible attacks on oil & gas sector assets in the State by militants, the sources said that this was done after input about enhanced activity by ULFA, NSCN and PLA (Manipur) cadres in their border strongholds.
According to the sources, the Assam Police has information about around 70 youths joining the ULFA-I in the last two years. However, 64 youths returned to the mainstream during the same period, including senior cadres like Drishti Rajkhowa, Jiban Moran, Montu Saikia, Udgiron Asom, Dhoni Asom and Bhaskar Bora.
Meanwhile, talking to The Sentinel, Additional Director General of Police (Special Branch) Hiren Chandra Nath said that there may be many reasons for the recent spurt of a section of people joining the ULFA-I and the most obvious one is that most youths and even married persons joining the banned outfit are expecting that they will get immense benefit if the ULFA comes to the peace process. However, the ADGP asserted in the context of the hope of later benefits that those persons who joined the ULFA-I after it announced a unilateral ceasefire in 2021 will forfeit all facilities for resettlement from the Government even if they now return to the mainstream for one reason or the other. He said that the rationale behind this decision is that such youths will be responsible if the law-and-order situation deteriorates again even after the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) has been lifted from several districts of Assam with a view to expediting peace in the State.