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Absconding KLO millitant dies under mysterious conditions

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Though questions are still doing the round regarding the whereabouts of Jeevan Singh alias Tushar Das alias Timir Das, self styled Chairman of the banned Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO,) his wife Bharati Das, was brought dead to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) near Siliguri in North Bengal on Sunday night.

Absconding KLO millitant dies under mysterious conditions

Bharati Das, a trained KLO militant was absconding and wanted in connection with multiple cases in India. According to police sources an Ambulance from Birtamore, Jhapa district of Nepal brought Bharati Das and tried to admit her at the NBMCH. The doctors at NBMCH declared her "brought dead. " She was accompanied by her 12 year old and 9 year old daughters. The ambulance from Nepal has been confiscated by the police.

"They tried to admit her in the name of Rekha Rajbonshi (42 years) wife of Kamal Rajbonshi. Later she was identified as Bharati Das, wife of Jeevan Singh. It is believed that she was admitted at a nursing home in Birtamore Nepal from where she could have been referred" stated an officer of the intelligence department.

"It is confirmed that she is Bharati Das, wife of Jeevan Singh. She died an unnatural death" stated Neeraj Kumar Singh, Commissioner of Police, Siliguri Metropolitan Police.

Bharati who had received arms training has been absconding since 2004 and was reportedly living in camps in Assam, Bhutan, Mayanmar and Nepal shifting base. Two of her neighbours from Nepal were allegedly accompanying her but had returned from Kharibari on the Indian side.

Police then informed Bharati's relatives along with front rung KLO militants who have surrendered and leading lives in the Indian mainstream were informed for identification of the deceased. Her daughters Tithi (12) and Priti (9) were sent to a shelter home through the Child Welfare Committee.

"Her daughters claim that the name of their father is a person called Kamal Rajbonshi and that he lives in Italy. The two studied in an English medium school in Nepal " stated the intelligence officer.

On Monday morning relatives of the deceased along with front rung surrendered KLO operatives arrived at the NBMCH. "I had last met them (Jeevan and Bharati) in 2012 in Nepal. She was not sick then. After that we lost all contact with them. The police informed us last night about her death. So we have come. " stated Tom Adhikari, surrendered KLO militant. Tom is believed to be a close confidant of Jeevan Singh. He had received arms training in the 2003 batch.

42 year old Bharati's brother Ajit Das, a resident of Kumargram of the Alipurduar district stated "Since 2004 we had no contact with her. She was sent by the administration and police in 2004 to coax Jeevan to return to the mainstream. This is the first time we are seeing her after 2004, that too dead. "

Jeevan Singh's sister Sumitra Das who in the past had been arrested a number of times was present at the hospital. She now resides in Barobhisa. "I had last met them in 2009. After that we had no contact. I want to take my nieces home. We will try to adopt them through legal procedure. They have no one to look after them now" stated Sumitra.

After post mortem the body was handed over to the relatives. Cremation will take place late at night at Kumargram in the Alipurduar. Police along with the intelligence departments are keeping a close watch to see if in any way Jeevan Singh tries to establish contact.

Police Sources claim that Bharati was suffering from multiple diseases. She had breathing problem and her liver was also affected. "She could have died from these ailments. However we have to wait for the post mortem reports for confirmation" stated a police source.

The Kamtapur Liberation Organization (KLO) was formed on December 28, 1995 by students from the indigenous Rajbongshi community who were interested in breaking away and forming an independent Kamtapur State in the northeastern portion of the country.

The KLO is still committed to the creation of an independent Kamtapuri State comprising of all seven districts of north Bengal namely Malda, North and South Dinajpur, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar and four contiguous districts of Assam namely Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Dhubri and Goalpara.

They had launched an arms struggle, carrying out bomb blasts in North Bengal leading to the death of many. Although several of its major leaders have been either killed or imprisoned between 1999 and 2003, it is believed that the group was revived by the ULFA after it nearly fell apart in late 2004.

It is believed that they are trying to regroup. Camps are still being run in Mayanmar. The outfit was banned by the Indian Government in 1997. "I had been contacted to work as training commanders in KLO camps but I rejected the offer" stated Manaka Rai talking to Oneindia. She is a surrendered KLO who now works as an Anganwadi worker.

KLO Chairman Singh was arrested in 1999 but was released by Assam Police to encourage more surrenders. He however absconded.

There were reports that Singh was killed in the June 9, 2015 operation carried out by Indian special forces in Myanmar. This was however not confirmed.

In a press release on September 14,2015, National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDBF) president B Saoraigwra claimed that Jeevan Singh had attended the outfit's martyr's day programme on behalf of KLO along with leaders of NSCN (Khaplang) and Ulfa (Independent).

"Contrary to the belief that Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) chief Jeevan Singh alias Timir Das, who was suspected to have been killed during the surprise cross-border assault on northeast insurgent camps by the elite para-commandos of the Indian Army a few months back, participated in the Martyrs' Day programme at an undisclosed location," the release said. It is believed that the programme had taken place in a forest in Myanmar.

KLO has long-standing ties with militant groups from the northeast. It has developed close links with NSCN (Khaplang) for training, weapons and funds. Ulfa leader Paresh Baruah had played a key role to facilitate this.

After the formation of the United National Liberation Front of Wesea - merger of NSCN (Khaplang), Ulfa (Independent), KLO and NDFB - the outfit's first subversive activity was an attack on an Army convoy in Manipur where 12 jawans were killed.

Prior to this the KLO used to run training camps in the dense jungles of Bhutan. In December 2003 the Royal Bhutan Army had launched Operation All Clear in which 14 ULFA camps; 11 NDFB camps and 5 KLO camps were destroyed and the militants flushed out.

The KLO was running a camp in Samdrup Jongkhar; 1 in Kalikhola Chungthag and 3 in Samtse district of Bhutan. More than 500 AK 47/56 assault rifles, 328 other assorted weapons including rocket launchers and mortars; 10 lakh rounds of ammunition along with an anti aircraft gun were recovered from the camps run by these outfits.

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