May 7, 2022 12:56:01 pm
The banned United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) said in a press statement Saturday that it had sentenced two of its cadres to death for allegedly being “spies” of the police and the Indian state.
In the statement, the banned group’s publicity wing said that Dhanjit Das and Sanjib Sarma had been planted by the police to extract information about the outfit. Das, the group alleged, had tried to flee the outfit’s camp on April 24 but was apprehended the next day. On interrogation, Das, who hails from the Barpeta district of Assam, allegedly admitted that he had been convincing fellow cadres to surrender and supplying information about the group’s well-wishers and supporters to the police.
According to the outfit, Sarma was paid by the police to infiltrate the group as a “spy” and had “advanced communication devices” with him to relay information back. Last month, the outfit had released a video in which Sarma was purportedly confessing that he had been planted as a spy by a top Assam Police official and a senior Indian Army official to unearth information.
In the video, Sharma claimed that his elder brother (Apurba Kumar Sarma), a para-commando in the army, was killed in an ambush in Manipur a few months back. After that, senior police officer and joint commissioner of police (Guwahati) Partha Sarathi Mahanta asked him to join ULFA-I to avenge his brother’s death and also unearth information from the camps. If his mission was to be successful, Sarma said, Mahanta had promised him Rs 1 crore.
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However, Mahanta had claimed ignorance of the matter. “I don’t know why the person took my name,” he told reporters, adding that the matter was not connected to the Guwahati city police. “I am a Guwahati city police officer …since this is a matter related to the Assam Police, I would not like to comment,” he told reporters.
The Indian Express reached out to Assam police DGP Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta but he declined to comment. According to reports, the last few months have seen an uptick in ULFA-I recruitments. In April, a Youth Congress leader from Tinsukia was suspected to have joined the outfit.
On April 15, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, speaking on the sidelines of an event in Diphu, said that while there were efforts to bring the outfit to the table for talks and the recruitment of new cadres was a cause of concern.
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