The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday declared Paresh Barua, self-styled commander-in-chief of the armed wing of ULFA(I) faction, and its chairman Abhijit Asom as absconders, saying it had collected sufficient evidence of the duo trying to revive terrorist activities intended at waging war against the Government of India.
A chargesheet filed by the agency in the special NIA court here — while charging Barua, Asom and another cadre Gagan Hazarika alias Joydeep Cheleng under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act — also said that the anti-talks ULFA faction was trying to revive terrorist activities by recruiting new cadres, organising terrorist camps within India and outside, and raising funds through extortion and kidnapping in order to wage war against the government.
The chargesheet was filed in connection with a case (No Rc-04/2013/NIA-GUW) that was registered on the basis of an MHA order of December 5, 2013, a press release issued by the NIA said.
“The NIA has collected sufficient material, technical as well as circumstantial evidence, against the accused persons during investigation and established the allegations against each accused person,” the release said. “Accused Paresh Barua @ Paresh Asom has been in Myanmar and Dr Mukul Hazarika @ Dr Abhijit Asom in the United Kingdom. They have been declared absconders and further action has been initiated.”
Mukul Hazarika, a UK-based physician, was appointed chairman of the ULFA (I) faction — I standing for Independent — by Barua in 2010 after Arabinda Rajkhowa, then chairman of undivided ULFA, was arrested in Bangladesh and handed over to India. The NIA release, while mentioning sections of the IPC and UAPA slapped against them, mentioned various aliases of Barua and Hazarika. According to it, Barua’s aliases include Paresh Asom, Kamruj Zaman Khan, Nur-uz-Zaman, Zaman Bhai, Pradip and Paban Barua, while Mukul Hazarika’s aliases include Abhijit Asom, Abhizeet Asom and Abhijit Barman.
While the NIA has slapped Sections 17, 18, 18A, 18B and 20 of the UAPA and Sections 121A, 124A, 120B and 385 of the IPC against Barua, ULFA(I) chairman Abhijit Asom has been charged under Sections 18, 18A, 18B and 20 of the UAPA and Sections 121A and 124A of the IPC. Barua described the NIA charges against him and his chairman as ridiculous and said that no measure adopted by the government would be able to bring them down to their knees.
“The colonial government of India has been trying to crush our movement by applying various laws. But no matter how many such laws it brings, they cannot bring us down to our knees,” Barua told a Guwahati-based television news channel over the telephone from an undisclosed location. “We have been carrying on this movement because we are not willing to accept the Indian Constitution and the laws framed under it. The colonial government cannot deflect us from our goal,” Barua said.