Glare on Ulfa camps in Karbi Anglong
(Telegraph/ 22 July 2009)
A STAFF REPORTER
Guwahati, July 21: Security forces engaged in counter-insurgency operations in Assam have marked out Borpung in the Karbi Anglong hills for a major operation to uproot Ulfa training camps there.
Most of the newly recruited cadres were being trained there. The training camps — the only ones now left in Assam — are being run by Ulfa’s 27 battalion headed by Samrat Borgohain.
The battalion is headquartered in dense jungles. Official sources said almost all the new recruits to Ulfa in recent times, especially from Upper and central Assam districts, were being trained at these camps, located beyond Chokihola in Karbi Anglong district.
Indrajit Bania alias Rahul, an Ulfa militant who was apprehended in Guwahati on Sunday, also revealed during interrogation that he had undergone a monthlong training at Borpung. Bania, a higher secondary dropout, is from Sonitpur district and was assigned to plant a bomb in the capital city.
Sources said Borgohain, a 2nd lieutenant in the ranks of Ulfa, was entrusted by the leadership to expand the facilities at these camps in the early part of this year. Borgohain is from Bihpuria in Lakhimpur district.
“After the A and C companies of the 28 battalion left en masse in June last year, Ulfa decided to strengthen its 27 battalion, whose activities were limited previously,” police said. Ulfa has four active battalions.
Sources said meticulous planning is currently on to conduct the operation at Borpung on the lines of the operation at Lakhipathar in Tinsukia in 1990.
Hundreds of troops, armoured vehicles and heavy artillery were pressed into service during the operation at Lakhipathar where Ulfa had established its general headquarters in the interiors of Lakhipathar and its council headquarters in the adjoining Saraipung forest reserve in the early eighties.
“The operation at Borpung will not be as easy as the one in Lakhipathar because of the hilly terrain and thick jungles. There is hardly any human settlement beyond Chokihola, apart from endless leech and mosquito-infested jungles,” a police official based in Karbi Anglong said.
He said although the BSF has set up a base at Chokihola for several months now, this has not prevented movement of Ulfa cadres to the camps at Borpung. “There could be several jungle routes leading to these camps at Chokihola,” he said.
Prabal Neog, a leader of the pro-talks group of Ulfa, said the outfit’s 27 battalion had a few small hideouts in Karbi Anglong before his arrest.
Neog was returning from one such hideout in Karbi Anglong and was on his way to Arunachal Pradesh when security forces intercepted him at Tezpur. “We have information about a few senior leaders travelling to Karbi Anglong in recent times,” he said.