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China, new hideout of top ULFA commander Paresh Baruah

New Delhi, June 1 (ANI): Indian Intelligence agencies have informed the Government that top United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) commander Paresh Baruah has moved to China around a month ago.

Baruah was operating from Bangladesh for past many years.

The intelligence agencies have come to learn about Baruah’s presence in China through interception of conversations taking place between his mobile phone and a satellite phone from China. The exact location of Baruah in China has been located, an Indian Express report stated.

Baruah, who heads the military wing of ULFA, is assumed to have travelled to China to procure some arms for ULFA. 

The present visit is perhaps Baruah’s maiden visit to China. However, he is known to have travelled to Bangkok and Pakistan in the past.

Baruah’s China visit holds significance, as it has come at a time when the Awami League government under Sheikh Hasina has initiated a crackdown on the cadres of ULFA and many other Indian insurgent groups who have taken shelter in Bangladesh.

Observers say Bangladesh under the Awami League is becoming increasingly inhospitable for such militant groups that had been using it as a safe territory for them for a long time.

The Bangladeshi Government, about two weeks ago, had arrested two former Director Generals of the country’s National Security Intelligence in relation with a weapons’ smuggling case.

Bangladesh’s CID had picked up Major General (Retd.) Rezakul Haider Chowdhury and Brig Gen (Retd.) Abdur Rahim during a pre-dawn raid last month (May 16).  Both individuals are presently under Bangladesh police remand.

The recently arrested officials, Chowdhury and Rahim, are said to be known to Baruah, according to another top NSI official Wing Commander  (Retd.) Shahabuddin Ahmed, who was arrested by CID earlier in the same case.

Shahabuddin, in his confessional statement, claimed that just before the arrival of the arms consignment Rahim, Chowdhury and some other government officials had met at Chowdhury’s residence to discuss ways to ensure its safe passage to India.

Shahabuddin claimed that Baruah, disguised as one Ahmed, was present at this meeting. While further stating he said, Baruah had also accompanied Chowdhury during a visit to the Combined Military Hospital.

Sources, however, have not denied the probability that these two officials had helped in arranging Baruah’s China visit.

ULFA seeks to establish a sovereign Assam via an armed struggle in the Assam Conflict. The Government of India had banned the organization in 1990 and classifies it as a terrorist group, while the US State Department lists it under “Other groups of concern”.

The militant organisation initiated major violent activities in 1990. The Indian Army has been carrying on military operations against ULFA since  1990. (ANI)

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