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3000-odd SULFA men in State in dire straits

By Sanjoy Ray

GUWAHATI, Nov 26 � Sandwiched between the demands of the pro-talk and the hardline ULFA, thousands of surrendered ULFA men now find themselves in acute financial crisis, something which has compelled a section of them to even commit suicide.

Records available show that as many as 11 SULFA men committed suicide in the last one decade or so, the latest incident being reported in Tinsukia district around one-and-a-half months back where SULFA man Pabitra Moran claimed his own life unable to bear his living expenses.

For these cadres, the situation is just contrary to some of their fellow SULFA men based in Guwahati and some of the developed towns, who by using their muscle and gun power, secured stakes in almost all the lucrative avenues in the State.

Giving an insight of the tragic deaths of at least 11 SULFA men, all primarily due to financial crunch, these SULFA men under the banner of the All Assam Surrendered ULFA Samiti are now demanding a bail out package from the Centre.

�The situation is just tailor-made for recurrence of such tragic instances and one should not be surprised to see the graph escalate further,� said Raj Duarah, president of the Samiti while talking to The Assam Tribune.

�Some other SULFA men who committed suicide include Pranjal Gohain, Dhan Gogoi and Nakul Sarma, whose family members are struggling to survive,� Duarah stated.

�We laid down our arms thinking of the State�s welfare. But now neither the Government, nor the pro-talk ULFA faction is paying any heed to our issues. The State Government�s so-called rehabilitation programme just does not seem to reach us and the promises remain on paper alone,� rued Duarah.

�Most of us have cases pending against us in court, which is further aggravating our financial status. The Government had assured to us to withdraw the cases but nothing has been materialized till date. Unable to bear the burden, some of the SULFA men had committed suicide,� he said.

The representatives of these 3000-odd SULFA men, who laid down their arms in 1992, are expected to move the Union Government soon to make their issues heard.

The demands of the Samiti are granting of autonomous State status to Assam, early solution to the infiltration problem, rehabilitation of the surrendered cadres.

Another SULFA man, requesting anonymity, said: �On one hand, the Government is trying to woo Paresh Baruah faction, while on the other hand, it is facilitating the ongoing peace talks with the pro-talks faction. But having said that, the step-motherly treatment meted out to the SULFA men, especially those of lower ranks, will certainly send a wrong signal, something against the interest of the State.�

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3000-odd SULFA men in State in dire straits

GUWAHATI, Nov 26 � Sandwiched between the demands of the pro-talk and the hardline ULFA, thousands of surrendered ULFA men now find themselves in acute financial crisis, something which has compelled a section of them to even commit suicide.

Records available show that as many as 11 SULFA men committed suicide in the last one decade or so, the latest incident being reported in Tinsukia district around one-and-a-half months back where SULFA man Pabitra Moran claimed his own life unable to bear his living expenses.

For these cadres, the situation is just contrary to some of their fellow SULFA men based in Guwahati and some of the developed towns, who by using their muscle and gun power, secured stakes in almost all the lucrative avenues in the State.

Giving an insight of the tragic deaths of at least 11 SULFA men, all primarily due to financial crunch, these SULFA men under the banner of the All Assam Surrendered ULFA Samiti are now demanding a bail out package from the Centre.

�The situation is just tailor-made for recurrence of such tragic instances and one should not be surprised to see the graph escalate further,� said Raj Duarah, president of the Samiti while talking to The Assam Tribune.

�Some other SULFA men who committed suicide include Pranjal Gohain, Dhan Gogoi and Nakul Sarma, whose family members are struggling to survive,� Duarah stated.

�We laid down our arms thinking of the State�s welfare. But now neither the Government, nor the pro-talk ULFA faction is paying any heed to our issues. The State Government�s so-called rehabilitation programme just does not seem to reach us and the promises remain on paper alone,� rued Duarah.

�Most of us have cases pending against us in court, which is further aggravating our financial status. The Government had assured to us to withdraw the cases but nothing has been materialized till date. Unable to bear the burden, some of the SULFA men had committed suicide,� he said.

The representatives of these 3000-odd SULFA men, who laid down their arms in 1992, are expected to move the Union Government soon to make their issues heard.

The demands of the Samiti are granting of autonomous State status to Assam, early solution to the infiltration problem, rehabilitation of the surrendered cadres.

Another SULFA man, requesting anonymity, said: �On one hand, the Government is trying to woo Paresh Baruah faction, while on the other hand, it is facilitating the ongoing peace talks with the pro-talks faction. But having said that, the step-motherly treatment meted out to the SULFA men, especially those of lower ranks, will certainly send a wrong signal, something against the interest of the State.�