In a press release to Times of Assam by the Publicity Commander of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), Arunodoy Dohotiya, the hardliner faction of the outfit has declared to create new political leadership. Stating that the military unit of the outfit, Sanjukta Mukti Fauz or United Liberation Force of Asom (Formed on 16 March 1996) always carried its activities under the policy and directive of its political wing, Dohotiya declared that the new leadership would be created and declared publicly this month itself. As per the press release, this is being done to fill the void in leadership created due to several of its top leaders, including the outfit’s chairman, Arabinda Rajkhowa currently engaged in lateral talks with the Union Government of India after being released in jail.
Although the new leadership of the ULFA is not declared yet, Times of Assam has been able to gather information from various sources and with detailed analysis has been able to come to the following conclusion about the new leadership:
- Jiban Moran is expected to be designated as Second-in-Command
- Drishti Rajkhowa would be the Operation Commander
- Anup Chetia would continue to remain designated and work as General Secretary of the outfit and is unlikely to join the current lateral talk’s process by returning back to India.
- The handling of finance, as well as collections, would be taken care of jointly by Bijay Chinese & Michael Deka Phukan. Bijay Chinese would handle this responsibility apart from his current responsibility of Training-in-Charge.
- All other political leadership would be done under pseudo-names, managed by close aides of covert overground workers of the outfit who are close to the other leadership of ULFA.
- Several of the current senior leaders of the outfit, currently overground in the name of lateral talk’s process, are expected to return to the armed struggle and resume their acts under new designations.
Most importantly, all of the new leadership would actually not be replacements of current Pro-Talk leaders. Instead completely new designations and posts are being created so as to avoid any internal diplomatic conflict within the outfit. In addition, the provision would remain for the current Pro-Talk leaders such as Rajkhowa to resume their old designations and responsibility of they return to the outfit’s armed struggle once again. All of this understandably is because this new formation too is planned within the outfit and not a factional dispute as being portrayed in Times of Assam exclusive report Faultline of ULFA – Planned Factional Dispute.
It is to be mentioned that after the last meeting on lateral talks between the Pro-talk leadership of ULFA and the Union Government of India, the ULFA leadership was told not to come to New Delhi anymore and to carry out talks only with the state Government. This had significantly reduced the importance of the lateral talk. As an outcome of this, the current war-footing activities of the underground faction of the outfit is being initiated, sources claim. On the other hand, the Indian Intelligence has always laid down long-term strategies to lure the current leadership engaged in talks by showcasing the current glam and glitter development of Guwahati to the Pro-Talk ULFA leaders, who mostly were away and lived in caps and jungles for decades. The idea is to make them unimportant and sideline Paresh Baruah & Co. Completely, who then would be questioned by the public on what is he fighting for.