Militants belonging to the anti-talks faction of Ulfa headed by Paresh Barua killed a father and his daughter in a remote area in Tinsukia district on Tuesday night, coinciding with the visit of BJP president Amit Shah to Guwahati. Earlier, security forces had managed to prevent the rebels’ attempt to target some Hindi-speaking settlers in upper Assam during Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Guwahati.
A small trader called Nandalal Shah and his daughter Kajol were killed on the spot and three others including his wife Shanti Devi sustained serious injuries when two Ulfa men entered their house at Bijuliban under Pengeri police station in Tinsukia late in the night. The Ulfa men had knocked Nandalal’s house claiming to be Army personnel, reports said. Nandalal, who had a small rice mill and a bicycle repair shop, which he ran along with his brother, had not received any extortion call, police said.
An Assam Police official also said that the Ulfa faction was under pressure from the newly floated United National Liberation Front of West South-East Asia (UNLFWSEA) headed by NSCN(K) chief SS Khaplang to perform after several of its other constituents had already made major strikes in the past two months. The police fear more attempts by the Ulfa during the run-up to Independence Day.
“While the NSCN(K) had already carried out a series of attacks, including the June 5 ambush in Chandel in Manipur that had left 18 Dogra Regiment soldiers dead, Paresh Barua’s Ulfa faction was under constant pressure from their newly floated front to perform,” a senior Assam Police official said. Barua’s faction had also come under criticism for failing to strike since the front was formed in Myanmar a few months ago, he said.
Meanwhile, several Hindi-speaking traders and businessmen in Tinsukia district in upper Assam on Wednesday received messages from the ULFA faction on their phones seeking Rs 5 lakh each to the outfit, police said. “That is a pattern. First they look for a suitable date to strike, and the Union Home Minister’s visit was one perfect date during which we managed to prevent any major strike. Once they hit a soft target they send out messages asking for money,” the official said.