Updated: April 29, 2021 2:53:37 pm
A top militant of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) — self-styled commander Dwipen Saud — was killed during an encounter with security forces in Bongaigaon district of Assam on Thursday morning while one of his aides was arrested, state police said.
Saud, 52, had joined ULFA-I in 1988.
The development comes after three employees of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) were kidnapped from Assam’s Sivasagar district on April 21. Two of the three men have been rescued by security forces while the hunt is on for the third, Retul Saikia. The ULFA-I has said that Saikia was not in their custody and that they suspect he has either been killed in gunfire by the state security forces or kept in hiding by them.
Assam DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta on Thursday said in a tweet that Saud was killed in an encounter at Besimari in Bongaigaon district.
“ULFA (I) Commander Western Command, recently appointed to replace Drishti Rajkhowa, SS Col Dwipen Saud appears dead with bullet injury. He’s being taken to the hospital now,” Mahanta wrote, adding that Saud’s “gun man Padum Rai” was apprehended with a weapon.
Police-Ulfa encounter at Besimari (Manikpur PS) in Bongaigaon District took place just some time back.
ULFA (I) Commander Western Command, recently appointed to replace Drishti Rajkhowa, SS Col Dwipen Saud appears dead with bullet injury. He’s being taken to the hospital now.
— DGP Assam (@DGPAssamPolice) April 29, 2021
Rajkhowa, the former deputy commander-in-chief of the ULFA-I, surrendered in November last year. He is considered to be a close confidant of the outfit’s chief Paresh Baruah. He was known to have been operating and travelling in Bangladesh and along the Indo-Bangla border in Meghalaya.
Mahanta further said, “We had intel that ULFA Western Command was planning some high profile kidnapping in collaboration with other anti India forces which now appears to be foiled. Today’s successful operation is due to high quality police intel input that worked out precisely for on ground action.”
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