Growing unity in NE militants evident, China influence suspected


By- Correspondent |Date- October 13, 2011

In an alarming declaration, the hardliner faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has shown signs of taking steps to foster stronger unity amongst the rebel groups of the North East.

The press release yesterday

The outfit has appealed to all the rebel outfits of North East to unite in a common platform to fight against their “common enemy” Indian Government.

In a press release sent to the media, ULFA publicity commander Arunodoy Dohotiya stated that the instead of joining in a common struggle, different outfits have now started to fight for their own clan, tribes and communities which is creating divide between the communities of the region. Stating that the outfit would not blame any outfit for their steps, it stated that the time has come for all NE rebels to realize the potential of united struggle. Also calling the autonomous councils to the different communities granted by the Government as mere baits to keep the peoples under control with false promises, the press release accused that the Government was reaping benefits by creating further divide between people of the region.

The press release stated that the undivided NSCN could have led unity into the rebel groups of NE to fight together as the NSCN leaders were considered fatherly figures by all rebel outfits of NE; however this did not happen into reality due to varied reasons and its effect could be seen till today.  The outfit also called in all armed outfits of Assam to realize that fighting for their own tribe and communities would only rip the greater Assamese society apart and appealed that all outfits should keep their faith in ULFA and fight together in a unified struggle for Assamese nationalism. It also slammed claims by intellectuals of the state that Assam would be granted “rights on its resources”, claiming that Indian state machine would do anything to maintain its “colonial rule”. It also declared that to beg for Assam’s own rights to the centre would be an insult for the people of the state and called on the people to make the struggle more intense.

Signs of growing Unity of NE rebels

This was already evident when, for the first time in the history of the region, as many as 12 militant outfits of the North East region had sent a joint press release in August this year, to boycott the Independence Day celebrations of August 15.

The outfits which had issued a press release together Hynnitrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), Kamatapur Liberation Organization (KLO), Kanglei Yaol Kanna Lup (KYKL), National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak/Progressive (PREPAK – Pro), Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), Tripura People’s Democratic Front (TPDF), United National Liberation Front (UNLF), United People’s Party of Kangleipak (UPPK) and the hardliner faction of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).

The press release from the hardliner ULFA faction has made it clear that there are attempts by several outfits of the region to come under a single umbrella; a clear sign of concern for security in the region.

ULFA chairman in tensed Assam-Nagaland border the same day

The same day when the anti-talk faction of ULFA called upon rebel groups of North East to unite, Chairman of the outfit (pro-talk), Arabinda Rajkhowa visited the sensitive Assam-Nagaland boundary yesterday and interacted with local people, taking stock of the situation in the area. He declared that the outfit would always support the local people and listened to the locals complaining against CRPF personnel’s failure to maintain its neutrality and siding with the Nagaland government to encroach Assam land. He also stated that he had been to the area several times earlier and recounted the days when he and his cadres had come to extend protection to the people during the 1985 June attack in the same location by Naga forces which killed over 100 policemen and civilians.

The visit of the ULFA chairman is symbolic and holds importance as the pro-talk ULFA leaders had met the leadership of NSCN last month in the NSCN headquarters to foster better ties between Assam and Nagaland. This clearly shows signs that it is not only the hardliner Paresh Baruah faction which is trying to unite all rebel outfits, but also the pro-talk faction laying foundations of mutual co-operation between rebel outfits on the grounds.

The China connection

According to sources, the Chinese authorities have asked the major armed rebel outfits of North East India to come to a common platform. As per reports, all major militant outfits of Manipur have already joined hands and come under a common platform and ULFA and few outfits of Tripura have joined with the group too. Although ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa had once declared that “Assam would have been independent if China helped”, rubbishing reports that ULFA was backed by China, the current situation and intelligence reports clearly proves ULFA’s growing closeness to Chinese authorities.

If all major militant groups of the region unites and start receiving help from China, North East would certainly see worse situation and newer bloodshed. The slow movement of peace or negotiation talks between the centre and some insurgent groups, currently under ceasefire, would also help the armed groups to blame the centre more and carry out their operations.

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