Paresh Barua men threaten to kill Bengali migrants

01 August 2014

The anti-talk faction of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA-I), led by Paresh Barua, has for the first time warned it will use weapons against Bengali-speaking migrants it dubs as 'Bangladeshis'.
In two recent explosions in the frontier district of Goalpara, the ULFA has actually killed three Bengali speaking Muslims last week.A Bengali Hindu was also killed by suspected ULFA rebels in northern Assam last week, apparently for spying for the police.
The ULFA(I), in a statement, came down heavily on the state government for deciding to request the Centre to frame a policy for granting asylum to people who have fled religious persecution and discrimination and have taken refuge in India on humanitarian grounds.
The Assam cabinet took the decision a couple of days ago in what was seen as an attempt by the Congress led government to upstage the BJP which has done better than the ruling party in the recent parliament polls.
The banned outfit alleged in a press statement: "The decision has been taken putting at stake the rights and interests of the indigenous people of the state. Only mentally unsound people can take such decisions."
The ULFA(I) said that the Congress government in the state was only rehabilitating its party cadre without paying heed to the plight of the unemployed youth of the state.
"Political ambition is clearly behind such a decision. It has been done with the intent to lure the Bangladeshi vote bank towards the party and grab power. The BJP government at the Centre had been trying to appease the Hindu migrants, while the Congress government in the state is now playing politics with the Muslim migrants," it said.
"After discussing with our supporters and well wishers, we have decided to use weapons against the illegal migrants, whether they are Hindus or Muslims," the outfit warned. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will have to take the blame for any "bloodshed", the ULFA(I) statement added.
It said that the vote-bank politics has made Assam a happy hunting ground for illegal Bangladeshi nationals and it is not far when the "indigenous people will be foreigners in their own land."
"It is high time before we act. We will speak the language of guns against the illegal migrants who have been rehabilitated by the Assam government," the ULFA(I), whose bases are now in Myanmar, said.
The ULFA, which was formed in 1979, was initially against Bengali speaking migrants and killed minority leader Kalipada Sen and nearly murdered Sen's colleague Barrister Gholam Osmani.
But after it was given refuge in Bangladesh by the Ershad-led military regime, it changed tack and said in a booklet in 1990 (entitled 'Probojon Loi" or " about infiltration") that Bengali Hindus and Muslims have both contributed to Assam's development in a big way and should be treated as locals if they sympathise with the cause of Assam's independence.
Now that the Hasina government has cracked down hard against the ULFA and Paresh Barua has been sentenced to death in the 2004 Chittagong arms cases, it seems the rebels are changing line again.
Indian intelligence sources say Paresh Barua is backing some top Congress dissidents who are trying to bring down Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's government.
'We feel ULFA is trying to create a law and order situation to discredit the Gogoi government so that his rivals get an advantage," one official said on condition of anonymity.
The recent ULFA attacks on minorities are linked to these rivalries, he said.
Paresh Barua maintains close links with some anti-Gogoi Congress leaders.

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