As the much hyped lateral talks between the pro-talk faction of ULFA and Government of India goes into a stalemate, the anti-talk faction ULFA (I) has been progressively strengthening itself with new Leadership. While Paresh Baruah and Abhizeet Asom alias Dr Mooqool Haazoriiqaa are two most known names to the people as well as Security Forces, Times of Assam has got to know about several other key leaders who are fueling the underground movement with renewed passion.
One of such ULFA[I] leaders is their new General Secretary Bhaskar Asom alias Bhaskar Bora alias Rantu Bhaiti. Bhaskar Bora alias Rantu Bhaiti was actually a part of the Pro-talk ULFA group and had come over ground but went back to an outlawed life to join the anti-talk ULFA[I] faction last year.
Bhaskar Bora alias Rantu Bhaiti hails from Kakopathar in Tinsukia district and is the son of a rich Land owner and renowned businessman. In 1997, he on his will, went and got training from NSCN, as his residence was closed to the Nagaland border and frequented by the Naga Rebels. NSCN found him to be a talented youth and handed over to Late Lt Tapan Baruah, the then commander of ULFA’s most dreaded 28th Battalion. Tapan Baruah further handed Bhaskar Bora over to then Operation Commander of ULFA, Raju Baruah with whom Bhaskar Bora spent a long part of his life as a close aide, mostly in Bhutan. In fact he was so close to Raju Baruah that he had helped Raju Baruah’s would-be wife travel secretly to Bangladesh to get married to the Operation Commander.
When the Pro-talk Leadership of ULFA had joined the lateral talks process in 2010, Bhaskar Bora had joined them along with Raju Baruah and others. However with over five years spent with no results out of the lateral talks, like most other pro-talk cadres and leaders, he started losing confidence on the process. In spite of hailing from a rich background and after joining his father’s business, Bhaskar Bora finally gave up the mainstream life for a second time and went ahead to join the anti-talk faction of ULFA[I] last year in August, 2015. ULFA[I] reportedly also assisted in secretly deporting his wife and their baby, called Pal John to China.
An Alumni of Senairam Higher Secondary School in Tinsukia, Bhaskar Bora was reportedly recommended to hold the post of General Secretary by other alumni of the same school, ULFA’s Self Styled Captain Arunodoy Asom, who was two years senior to Bhaskar Bora in school. While Captain Arunodoy Asom, is currently the mastermind of the outfit’s Organizing, Intelligence & Intra-organizational networking, Bhaskar Bora is definitely the key leader in several aspects. Especially Bhaskar Bora is known to speak several languages, including fluent English and this has helped the outfit communicate with several International bodies.
It is to be noted that the movement of ULFA men leaving their pro-talk status to get back to the underground life as part of the anti-talks ULFA[I] is significant for the future peace and stability of the region. Bhaskar Borah alias Rantu Bhaiti who was a close aide of Raju Baruah, Operation Commander of ULFA had worked closely with all the Pro-talk leadership of ULFA for several years and hence has the pulse of the pro-talk faction. Hence his going back to the war camp is significant.
While the ULFA[I] is definitely only a pale reflection of what it used to be in the eighties and nineties when it had public support, reports like this when the peace process fails due to slowness and lack of commitment in the lateral talks process is alarming to the region.
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.