Home Politics Body blow to Ulfa(I) as its ‘dy chief’ surrenders | India News – Times of India

Body blow to Ulfa(I) as its ‘dy chief’ surrenders | India News – Times of India


GUWAHATI: Banned Ulfa(I) suffered a crippling blow following the surrender of its last field commander and the outfit’s self-styled “deputy commander-in-chief” Drishti Rajkhowa, alias Drishti Asom, alias Monoj Rabha, at the Army’s 21 Division headquarters at Rangiya on Thursday.
The Army said in a statement that it had deployed its forces in Rangia following inputs from intelligence agencies, Assam Police and Meghalaya Police and carried out ‘Operation Malakand’ on November 10, which resulted in the surrender of Drishti, along with four other cadres. This was a part of a drive for a terror-free Assam and Meghalaya by Unified Command, the statement said.
“Drishti Rajkhowa, a known explosive expert, was the deputy commander-in-chief of United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent) and was an active member of the terrorist outfit of Ulfa since the last 30 years. For the past many years, efforts were initiated by various intelligence and security agencies of Unified Command for the neutralization of Drishti Rajkhowa,”the Army said
It was this combined effort which has resulted in the success. It is a result of synergy and close cooperation that has been achieved between the Indian Army, intelligence agencies, Assam and Meghalaya Police and other security forces of the two states,” the Army said.
“Surrender of Drishti Rajkhowa, along with four Cadres of Ulfa(I), has certainly dealt a severe blow to the ulterior motives of Ulfa(I), which had been trying to gain prominence and revive insurgency in lower Assam by undertaking large scale recruitment. Drishti Rajkhowa and his accomplices will, in the times to come, motivate other misguided youth/cadres to follow their lead and come over ground to lead a dignified life and work for the betterment of this beautiful region,” the Army added.
Ulfa(I) commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah said his deputy surrendered before authorities with approval of the outfit’s leadership on humanitarian grounds so that he can take care of his cancer-stricken wife and their two minor children, who are living in Bangladesh.
“It is true that Drishti Asom has surrendered. He has taken this step with approval from the organization and on humanitarian grounds. His wife is suffering from cancer and they have two minor children. Fourteen days back, Drishti was engaged in an encounter with security forces in Garo Hills and for seven days he, along with other cadres, was gheraoed. He was in constant touch with me and I told him not to take the extreme step and asked him to stop fighting knowing fully well about his wife’s health condition and the wellbeing of his two children. Surrender was the only option left for him,” said Baruah.
“Drishti’s contribution for the organization has been immense and I cannot forget that for the organization he had to sacrifice his parents long back,” added Baruah.
The 50-year-old Drishti headed the outfit’s dreaded ‘109th battalion’ and was in-charge of the southern part of Assam from the westernmost district of Goalpara bordering Garo hills of Meghalaya till Guwahati city. A most-wanted rebel leader, Drishti, who is from Belpara village at Rongjuli in Goalpara district joined the outfit in 1988. His aged parents were killed by unidentified killers, the infamous ‘secret killers’ who had unleashed a reign of terror from 1998 to 2000 during the Prafulla Kumar Mahanta-led AGP government, targeting the family members of Ulfa leaders. His house was also burnt down.
Baruah’s other field commanders have long left him — some have surrendered while others have died. Before Drishti, the last field commander who left Baruah and the outfit was commander of “709th battalion”, Hira Sarania, alias Naba Kumar Sarania, who is now an independent MP in Lok Sabha (Kokrajhar constituency).
Subsequently, Drishti and four of his companions surrendered to Meghalaya Police at Nongal on Wednesday evening, who were later handed over to the Army at Dilsengre village in the district. Drishti and four others were scheduled to be handed over to Assam Police later on Thursday. The other members are Vedanta, Yasin Asom, Rop Jyoti Asom and Mithun Asom.

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