[Assam] "Ulfa shifts focus, asserts 'gallantr" y' - The Statesman

Chan Mahanta cmahanta at charter.net
Thu May 31 05:52:09 PDT 2007


Look at the guy's SPIN:

	>The "fake encounter" drew public attention when a man from 
Laopati village in
	 Tinsukia district fell victim to the circumstances.

He must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed bringing bad luck 
to himself!

	>"The killing of Budheswar Moran was unfortunate," said 
Major-General NC
	>Marwah, GoC, Second Mountain Division.

*** Tsk, tsk!  How terrible these folks are, complaining even after 
Marwah's apology.

Somehow military 'oopses ' must be MORE honorable than ULFA's. Isn't 
that what it meansd?

At 6:12 AM -0600 5/31/07, Ram Sarangapani wrote:
>What about this C'da?
>Ulfa shifts focus, asserts 'gallantry'
>Nava Thakuria
>THE Ulfa has returned to its pet agenda of challenging the armed 
>forces. Its military spokesman, Raju Baruah, has warned security 
>forces of dire consequences if they did not stop killing its 
>"unarmed members" in bogus encounters.
>In the 1980s, the Ulfa projected an image of being an "enemy to the 
>crooked, friend to the deprived". But it slowly tarnished this image 
>when its cadres began targeting journalists, social activists and 
>political workers who were critical of its activities. There are 
>instances of sophisticatedly armed Ulfa cadres misbehaving with and 
>killing people, not even sparing women and children. All the time 
>the Ulfa leaders followed the principle that "if you are not with 
>us, you must be with the enemies".
>The local population began losing faith in the outfit, as was clear 
>from reports in the local media. The mindless killing of innocents 
>and bomb blasts carried out by its cadres at crowded places made it 
>difficult for the people to understand Ulfa's primary objective of 
>garnering public support for its cause.
>The leaders, of course, had tried their best to generate support on 
>various occasions but failed. In a recent "fake encounter" in upper 
>Assam, where the stage was set for a perfect anti-Army ambience, the 
>outfit stepped in and appealed to the people to join in the move. 
>Taking a cue from the killing of a young man by the security forces, 
>the locals decided to block the National Highway, where thousands of 
>others joined in to raise their voice against the excesses by 
>security personnel. But soon the situation turned ugly for Ulfa with 
>the arrival of a group of people from nearby tea gardens.
>Initially, it was a series of heated arguments between Ulfa 
>sympathisers and the group of tea garden workers who had become 
>unnerved when the supplies of essential commodities was stopped 
>following the blockade and finally clashed with them. Eight people 
>were killed and 25 injured. When the situation worsened, the 
>administration sought help from Tinsukia.
>The "fake encounter" drew public attention when a man from Laopati 
>village in Tinsukia district fell victim to the circumstances. 
>Twenty-four-year-old Buddheswar Moran, a watchman in a local tea 
>plantation, was killed by security personnel at midnight of 5 May. 
>These personnel of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles initially claimed 
>Buddheswar was associated with the Ulfa, but locals denied this and 
>later the Army admitted that Buddheswar had no link with the 
>underground group. It even apologised for the unfortunate incident 
>and ordered a probe. "The killing of Budheswar Moran was 
>unfortunate," said Major-General NC Marwah, GoC, Second Mountain 
>The public resentment even compelled the state governmenti to ask 
>the security forces "not to commit excesses and ensure basic human 
>rights of civilians" during counter-insurgency operations. Dispur 
>also ordered an independent probe.
>Meanwhile, a large crowd assembled at Dhola on NH 37 to protest 
>against Buddheswar's killing. Shouting anti-Army slogans, the 
>villagers started an indefinite blockade of the highway on 7 May. 
>Some in Kakopathar and Doom Dooma also protested. The Ulfa lost no 
>time in lending its support. "The mounting anti-Army agitation 
>justifies our stand that the Army has unleashed a reign of terror in 
>Asom," claimed Ulfa chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa.
>However, the situation became murkier after a group of tea workers 
>appeared. They asked the agitators to lift the blockade so that 
>trucks could bring in essential supplies. The two groups clashed on 
>13 May at Tiphuk. The Assam Tea Tribe Students' Association 
>supported the community, saying they were not against the agitation 
>to condemn the Army excesses but to oppose the demonstration. 
>"Putting up a blockade on a primary road for more than a week is 
>enough for the tea labourer families to get annoyed," said ATTSA 
>president Prahlad Goala and secretary Padmalochan Das in a press 
>As the Ulfa leaders failed to gain anything from this, they started 
>targeting migrant labourers in the locality. In two days (15-16 
>May), its cadres killed nine Hindi- speaking workers in upper Assam.
>(The author is a Guwahati-based journalist)
>assam mailing list
>assam at assamnet.org
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