Flags, not guns, mark ULFA's 'Raising Day'

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Guwahati, Apr 7 (UNI) Contrary to its popular practice of marking significant anniversaries through violence, the outlawed ULFA today chose to hoist flags across Assam to mark its 29th 'Raising Day'.

Flags of the banned outfit were spotted at several places across the state and were reported to have been hoisted by ULFA cadres in hiding and their sympathisers last night.

The ULFA's flags were spotted in Barpeta, Nalbari, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Sonitpur, Nagaon, Sivsagar, Golaghat and Mangaldai districts. They were mostly hoisted at fields of educational institutions.

Local people had informed the police in the morning and the flags were brought down.

The outfit's tactic of marking the day with such non-violent and symbolic manner has left everyone guessing that it could be a prelude to a major strike later.

However, this departure from violence to make itself heard has also created a positive wave among the public, though apprehensions persist.

Meanwhile, the security forces, not leaving anything to chance, have beefed up security across the state.

Massive security arrangements have been made near bus depots, railway stations, airports and vital installations. Physical frisking of passengers and patrol parties has been put in place.

A major tragedy was averted when a bicycle bomb was recovered from Namrup railway station early this morning based on interrogation of arrested ULFA cadres.

The bomb was planted targeting the Kamrup Express.

On the other hand, the state almost closed down today as confusion prevailed over a state-wide bandh call given by a youth group, Youth Welfare Organisation (YWO).

The YWO had called the bandh appealing for peace, but with people mistaking that the call was given by the ULFA, as the date coincided with the outfit's 'Raising Day', chose to observe a bandh.

Roads were deserted, vehicles stayed off the roads and educational institutions and business establishments remained mostly closed.

No violence was reported from any part of the state till the filing of this report.

UNI SG KK KLC AKJ BD1740

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