ULFA faction fears sabotage during elections

Posted By: Staff
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Guwahati, Feb 21 (ANI): A splinter faction of Assam's main rebel group, the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), which prefers to have talks with the Central Government for a negotiated settlement to the separatist issue, said the parent group, which opposed such a move, could sabotage the forthcoming general elections.

The 'pro-talks' group, which walked out of the ULFA, declared a unilateral ceasefire last year expecting a reciprocal gesture from the Central Government to restore peace in the region.

"There can be sabotage because that doesn't require public support. ULFA can create sabotage at two or three places. They will be able to motivate people to support political parties advised by them," Jiten Dutta, General Secretary of pro-talks ULFA group told reporters here on Friday.

Another 'pro-talks' group leader said they would 'morally support' those political outfits that promise security in the region.

"We will not be following any direct rule but the parties whose viewpoints are identical to the public of Assam, whose manifesto would include security issue of the state and who would work for the public of Assam, we would morally support them," said Mrinal Hazarika, the faction's central committee chairman.

Analysts say that since 1991 ULFA has played a major role in every election in Assam, and parties they supported had always got the upper hand.

However, analysts fear that as ULFA's strength has been dwindling over the years, they could go for strong-arm tactics in upcoming elections.

"If we keep in mind their dwindling strength, then there is a possibility that ULFA might go for some kinds of explosion or they might go for selective killings also. So that possibility on cannot be ruled out," said Noni Gopal Mahanta, a political analyst.

ULFA has been demanding the independence of Assam since 1979 and accuses New Delhi of exploiting the state's resources and doing little to develop the province.he outfit has also accused non-Assamese people of plundering the state's resources and spoiling its culture.

More than 20,000 people have been killed so far in the ULFA insurgency. (ANI)

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