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Pro-talk ULFA for indigenous battalion to guard Assam-B’desh border

GUWAHATI, May 24: The ULFA (pro-talks) has demanded of the Centre to raise an unarmed battalion of security forces comprising indigenous people to form a second line of defence in Assam to guard the Assam-Bangladesh border to prevent illegal immigration from the neighboring country to the State.

The demand was placed before the Centre by the pro-talks faction of ULFA during their meeting in New Delhi on Monday.

“There are frequent complaints and allegations that BSF jawans currently engaged in guarding the India-Bangladesh border in Assam are not doing their jobs sincerely. BSF personnel allegedly allow illegal migrants from Bangladesh to enter Assam through the border for money. We have requested the Centre to involve the indigenous people of the State to guard the international border,” ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia told The Sentinel on Thursday.

Chetia said, besides indigenous youths, the proposed unarmed battalion can be raised with the ULFA (pro-talks) members as a second line of defence. There are nearly 2,000 ULFA (pro-talks) cadres.

The demand for raising a second battalion by the ULFA (pro-talks) has come close on the heels of the Committee for Protection of Land Rights of Indigenous People of Assam in its final report, submitted to Dispur recently, detecting a human factor facilitating infiltration from Bangladesh into Assam.

“This human factor relates to corruption at the level of international borders. It is public knowledge that along the borders guarded by paramilitary forces, including the BSF, illegal Bangladeshis find their easy way into Assam by bribing the security forces. If what is reported has any element of truth, it is stated that one has only to pay Rs 200 to Rs 500 or so to the security forces per head of infiltrating Bangladeshis,” the committee headed by former Chief Election Commissioner HS Brahma said.
Chetia said the Centre has responded positively to the demand.

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Ankur Kalita