ULFA expels defectors, warns others

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Guwahati, Jul 7: The proscribed outfit United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) today expelled three of its top members among the defectors and warned all its ultras not to cooperate with them.

In a release issued here, ULFA chairman Aurobindo Rajkhowa said Mrinal Hazarika, Moon Bora and Jon Sonowal were expelled from the ULFA for their activities against the outfit.

The statement also asked the people of the state ''not to cooperate with the expelled members.'' The trio led the three most potent strike units of the separatist ULFA to announce a unilateral ceasefire, prompting Assam authorities to say that more rebel units might want to shun violence.

The 'A' and 'C' companies of the ULFA's 28th battalion decided for a unilateral ceasefire. On the surface, it looked like a split in the ULFA, fighting for a 'sovereign, socialist Assam' since its inception in 1979, but leaders who had called for the truce claimed that it was not so.

ULFA hardliners, including chairman Aurobindo Rajkhowa and commander-in-chief Paresh Barua, had now started warning those who were supporting the defectors.

Meanwhile, the defectors' leader Mrinal Hazarika had been meeting journalists, intellectuals and student organisations and evaluating the ground position since the past three days.

However, the defectors repeatedly claimed that there was no split and they were only trying to bring peace in the state.

The 28th battalion of the ULFA, also called the 'Kashmir camp', has its headquarters in Myanmar and is closely aligned with the Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K).

The truce announcement means that only the 'B' or the Bravo company of the ULFA's 28th battalion is outside the purview of the truce.


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