Guwahati, Aug 16 : Mindless killings, violence and continuous disruption of normal life by the ULFA have taken the shape of an open criticism of the outfit by the people of Assam.
They are quite vocal about the role being played by the ULFA and its top leaders like Paresh Baruah in blocking the development of the state. They also raised doubts about the motives of the militant group in continuing with their ideology of violence.
Manshi Sharma, a professor, Guwahati University, said, "As they couldn't settle down in Assam, so they have settled down in Bangladesh. They are living in the lap of the luxury and have forgotten what life they have given to the Assam and how the people of Assam are still living now. So, sitting there, they are dictating certain terms and conditions, which doesn't apply in the present situation for the Assamese people."
"Bangladeshi has come in without any fear of getting detected. They are being utilized by the ULFA sitting there, to find out what is going in Assam and give them the feedback," added Sharma.
"It's very difficult to understand Baruah. I don't know whether he is really concerned for the people of Assam or not. No doubt they are doing something, sitting in Bangladesh, as newspaper reports say. But things have changed, Assam has changed, technology has come and what we know is that they should respect the sentiments of the people," said Ranjan Baruah, an Assamese.
But the acts of ULFA in no way suggest that they are willing to respect the wishes and voices of the people.
Mindless killings in recent times demonstrate how the militant outfit disregards the feelings of the people. It is perhaps because of this indifferent towards the people of Assam by the ULFA's central committee that many cadres of the outfit joined the mainstream of the society realizing the futility of pursuing violence against their own people of Assam.
"I don't appreciate the killings. I feel we end up killing our own people who are like our own kith and kin. So, there can be no benefit from such cruel murder. ULFA has deteriorated and is corrupt. It has become cruel. That is why people don't support the ULFA any more," said Brajan Kalita, a former ULFA cadre.
Many top cadres of the 28th battalion of the ULFA left the outfit recently and joined the mainstream of society to pursue peace and prosperity.
"The ULFA was established for the peace and development of the people of the State. If they are killing the people, it is not good and it is injustice. The outfit cannot survive and even if the government does this it will also face the problem," said Nagen Rabha, a surrendered cadre of ULFA.
No doubt people's mood is for development and progress which has remained sluggish because of almost three decades of violence.
With economy opening up and the Look East Policy promising greater opportunities for the people of the State, all sections of the Assamese society want to be part of the developmental process. They see ULFA and other militant groups as a major threat in the state's march to progress and prosperity. By Peter Alex Todd