Security forces issues extortion notice to traders:Ulfa

The Ulfa group also alleged that the circle was also involved in assisting smuggling of timber from Arunachal Pradesh to Assam up to Moran in Dibrugarh district in lieu of money. File photo

Ulfa (Independent), a militant group on Saturday, accused a ‘circle’ involving army intelligence officials and some deserters of the outfit of issuing extortion notices to traders in parts of Assam in its name in order to ‘defame’ it.

This comes following reports that many traders and tea gardens owners in eastern Assam’s Tinsukia district, situated close to the inter-state border with Arunachal Pradesh received phone calls or extortion letters from Ulfa (I), demanding money.

“We have clarified several times earlier that our organization is not at all involved in these activities and reiterate once again the same. As per our reliable information, these fraudulent and criminal activities have been conducted from time to time by the military intelligence officials along with some operation commanders of Indian occupational forces in connivance with the few deserters from our organization with a 50-50 share of the money,” Romel Asom, a member of the militant group’s publicity wing, said in a statement emailed to DH on Saturday.

Army officials denied the charges saying the outfit was making the false allegation as the security forces had stepped up operation against it in the areas following killings of five Hindu-Bengali residents in Tinsukia district on November 1. Ulfa (I) had denied its involvement in the killings but security forces suspect the outfit.

A worker of a tea garden owned by a minister in Arunachal Pradesh had reportedly been kidnapped by suspected members of Ulfa (I) recently and demanded Rs 1 crore for his release. The statement, however, did not say anything about the abduction.

The Ulfa group also alleged that the circle was also involved in assisting smuggling of timber from Arunachal Pradesh to Assam up to Moran in Dibrugarh district in lieu of money. “This mischievous circle is trying to malign our image to fulfil their vested interest. We earnestly appeal to all people concerned not to help these culprits in any way and skillfully apprehend them and handover to us,” it added.

 

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Security forces issues extortion notice to traders:Ulfa

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