Politics and power hunger within ULFA to hamper peace process

By-Correspondent | Date-October 27, 2011

As the ongoing lateral talks between the pro-talk faction of ULFA and the Government of India gets more and more into a political shape, there has been found revelations of lot of dirty politics within the outfit itself, all and only in quest of power. As an example to this, the sources claimed that one of the senior leaders of the outfit, Captain Antu Chaudang alias Upen Burhagohain is still in Jail in spite of having showed willingness towards joining the lateral talk’s process only because of the internal rift that top leaders of the outfit has.

Captain Antu Chaudang alias Upen Burhagohain is higher in rank and authority than many others within the outfit including dreaded Commander of 709 ULFA battalion Heera Sarania. As Chaudang was the one who imparted refresher training to all senior leaders including commanders of the armed wing of the outfit, he was considered a senior and important figure. It is mentionable that Antu Chaudang was appointed by Paresh Baruah as the commander of the bomb squad of ULFA in 2004. As such he is attributed to be one of the closest to Paresh Baruah himself. In addition, Antu Chaudang who leaded all battalions of the outfit in Dibrugarh Tinsukia, Sadiya and Dhemaji way back in 1996 is known to be hard-core yet popular and respected figure amongst the cadres of the upper Assam region, the hot bed of ULFA cadres, supporters and sympathizers.

As per sources, Heera Sarania who is now over-ground and enjoys complete amnesty in the name of peace talks has risen to be an important political figure in the lateral talk’s process using his own contacts. However he along with other senior leaders of the outfit has shown no inclination to bring Captain Antu Chaudang outside of prison as it would reduce the importance of Sarania and Co. to a large extent and make them unimportant politically. It is also alleged that Heera Sarania and his counterparts have even made ties with few senior officers of Assam police to maintain their importance and rise to power in coming days.

Another example seen already is the way the importance of Mrinal Hazarika, Commander of the most powerful 28th battalion of the outfit is being reduced by his own comrades and counterparts. It is mentionable that Hazarika had practically come forward for peace talks even before any other leader which showed that he was politically sounder than even Arabinda Rajkhowa or Paresh Baruah. Besides he was the first to implement the designated camps even before Arabinda Rajkhowa raised the issue with the central government. However he can be barely seen in any public activities done by the pro-talk faction of the outfit which proves the internal conspiracy.

With internal politics rising inside the ULFA, there are clear doubts as to what Arabinda Rajkhowa would be able to offer to people of the state, all eyes eagerly waiting for peace, development and honorable solution to the decade long conflict. The first moment of truth came on Tuesday when during the tripartite meeting the centre passed the onus of lateral talks to the state government. The centre would now only review the proceedings of the lateral talks between the state government and ULFA. The importance itself of the talks has come down by several layers and a conclusive solution looks only far away with the talks coming down to state level. Big claims such as constitutional amendments, complete economic and political rights, etc as demanded by the pro-talk ULFA might just end up to be a mirage.

Antu ChaudangArabinda RajkhowaAssamHeera SaraniaMrinal HazarikaParesh BaruahULFA