With special investigation and inputs by our Special Correspondent from Dhaka, Bangladesh
From last one and half years, all newspapers in Assam and some national level too have been making constant headlines about the pro-talk faction of ULFA and the anti-talk faction. The pro-talk faction became existent because most of the leaders were arrested and they had no other option and starting to negotiate and compromise. But till date, no one except for the Intelligence officials and the ULFA leaders themselves knows how they got arrested that forced the outfit to compromise and bend down on knees.
From sources of the Rapid Action Battalion of Bangladesh and ULFA itself, it is known now that the main man from Indian Intelligence side in the big master plan to arrest ULFA leaders was Lebu alias Phanidhar Medhi. This person was used by Indian Intelligence, under direction of Khagen Sharma, ADGP of Assam Police. According to the plan, Lebu alias Phanidhar Medhi was sent to Dhaka for carrying out the operation and started with managing ULFA leader Pranjit Saikia alias Ranju Chaharia alias Ashif. Pranjit Saikia who earlier used to work closely with Paresh Baruah’s family in Dhaka was very greedy for money. It was easy for Lebu to bribe and manage him by paying 20 Lakhs Bangladeshi Taka. The plan started into action.
Next those in the outfit who were not ready to compromise were targeted. Deepjyoti Mahanta alias Pradip Rai alias Ranju was captured in Maimansnigh district of Bangladesh with the help of one Sharif. Deepjyoti Mahanta was the key person to arrange the establishment of ULFA’s training camps in Bangladesh since 1990s. After this, Lebu gave his entire task to Pranjit Saikia and came back to Assam along with all other leaders who had been living in Sherpur district. They came back together in a vehicle sent by Khagen Sharma. Post this; Lebu started living in Sheraton hotel of Dhaka along with a high profile prostitute arranged by the Indian Intelligence. On the other hand, Ashif alias Pranjit Saikia made arrangements for capturing Senior ULFA leader Antu Chaodang and cadre Rubel alias Pradip Chetia. Once they were captured, Ashif kidnapped Ankur Khan Sunlee alias Babu, the elder son of Paresh Baruah; tortured him and threatened him to go back to Assam. The news of Paresh Baruah’s son being kidnapped was reported widely in newspapers of Assam during that time.
During this time, Paresh Baruah became suspicious of this Pranjit Saikia. Baruah secretly arranged to transfer a huge quantity of weapon which was in the house of Pranjit Saikia across the border with the help of Drishti Rajkhowa. This included about 300 nos AK Rifles, 200 nos 9 MM pistols and 200 nos grenades. Getting suspicious, the Rapid Action Battalion of Bangladesh this time caught Pranjit Saikia instead and later deported him to Assam. Rapid Action Battalion had high hope on Pranjit Saikia, that he could provide them huge amount of arms that was under his custody, as Pranjit Saikia was the prime carrier of Arms and ammunation Recovery incident of 2004 happened in Bangladesh. But the weapons in custody of Pranjit Saikia was already transferred from Bangladesh by Drishti Rajkhowa. Antu Chaodang too had a huge quantity of weapon and 1 lakh dollars when he was arrested but he succeeded in hiding the money on arrest. This money was later carried by Antu Chaodang’s wife when she escaped to Assam. On the other hand, Pranjit Saikia’s wife silently escaped from Bangladesh during the same time with the help of Lebu.
According to sources, ULFA leader Antu Chaodang is aware of all these but even after being released on bail he has been keeping quiet. He has however discarded himself from the talks process or from the pro-talk faction.
So how this Lebu alias Phanidhar Medhi was managed by Indian intelligence? How Arabinda Rajkhowa and his followers were arrested in mass and later deported from Bangladesh? What was the real story behind the mass arrest of ULFA leaders in Bangladesh, which never happened to any insurgent outfit before? Stay connected with Times of Assam to get unfolded about the truth.
To be continued…
Anirban Kalita is Executive Editor of News Section. His role is also involved with reviewing, editing of articles before publishing.
By academic Anirban is MTech of Computer Science & Technology.