Army to go hard on ULFA, no ceasefire

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Guwahati, Sep 26 (UNI) The Army today made it clear that it would go hard on the ULFA and stop only when there was total and actual ceasefire by the militant organisation.

''The army is not for unilateral ceasefire. Every time it is announced, the ULFA comes back stronger. Only a true ceasefire--when all arms are surrendered and the ULFA moves to designated camps--can be accepted,'' said GOC-in-C of the 4 Corprs Lt General B S Jaswal.

General Jaswal is the head of the counter insurgency mechanism in Assam. He is against giving any life to the ULFA by announcing further unilateral ceasefire. He was speaking to media at Narengi base.

''If there is any ceasefire then it is on the term of Government of India. The ULFA cannot be allowed to dictate terms from the position of strength and Army's tactics of iron fist with velvet gloves has been paying dividend,'' he said.

He came to address a press conference for the first time after taking charge.

Incidentally, the ULFA had been pushed to a corner after the loss of their top leadership in the recent weeks.

''From intelligence agencies, wireless communications and other channels it was evident that those inside the jungles are facing enormous hardships. Many of them are suffering from malaria and they have no possibility of getting any good treatment. There is also discontent and disillusionment after the arrest of Prabal Neog self-styled Commandant of the 28th battalion,'' he said.

He informed that ULFA had set up camps deep inside Myanmar and some of the camps were far too interior. But he asserted that the Indian army have kept them on the run. ''Inside Myanmar they had free areas where they could train freely. As far as the joint exercise between Indian and Myanmarese is concerned, it is a matter of two governments and out of my jurisdiction,'' he said.

Gen Jaswal alluded to the ULFA-Politician nexus and the recent arrest but refused to be drawn into the controversy. The recent arrest of Prabal Neog had spilled the beans as many names of politcians of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh were tumbling out during his interrogation.

Regarding internal dissension, he said there could be a split within the ULFA as a large section was unhappy with the top leadership and Prabal Neog's arrest had exposed many chinks.

The ULFA had been lying low since mid-August. The army insisted that they were being pushed to a corner and ordinary people were helping them. Since January, altogether 109 militants were killed and 1295 terrorists, including link men, have been apprehended while 81 cadres had surrendered.

He also advocated formation of Village Defence Council on the line of Jammu&Kashmir to take on the militants.

UNI

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