GUWAHATI, June 19 - With militancy on the wane and the level of violence coming down, the police and security forces are now chalking out plans to totally squeeze the fund flow to the outfits by nabbing the persons working as their linkmen. Meanwhile, security agencies have recently come to know that the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) managed to recruit a few youths from upper Assam districts and took them to Myanmar for training.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that busting of the network of linkmen would totally squeeze the fund flow to the militant outfits and efforts are now on in this regard. Sources pointed out that the ULFA(I) is using linkmen to identify and provide the phone numbers of the potential extortion targets, particularly in the districts of Sivasagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia. Senior leaders of the outfit then make phone calls to the targets seeking money. The linkmen then collect the money and send it to the camps of the outfit in Myanmar. Most of the phone calls are made by senior leaders of the outfit, including Arunodoy Dohotiya and Nayan Medhi, who are believed to be somewhere just across the international border in Myanmar.
Sources said that apart from collection of money, the linkmen are also being used by the ULFA(I) to identify potential candidates for recruitment. Nabbing of such linkmen would totally stop extortion bids of the outfit as the leaders are not in a position to send cadres to collect money, sources pointed out.
Security sources said that according to information available, a 21-member batch of new recruits of the ULFA(I) recently received their preliminary training in the Nilgiri camp of the outfit in Myanmar and they have been sent to the Taga camp for arms training. The input proved that the outfit is still being able to go for fresh recruitment. However, the strength of the outfit had dwindled as most of the hardcore cadres sent to Assam for indulging in acts of violence were either nabbed or they had surrendered.
On the other hand, fund-starved NDFB(S) is also trying new methods to collect money. At one point of time, kidnapping for ransom was the main source of income of the outfit, but due to relentless operations, the outfit has not been able to indulge in any kidnapping for the last 18 months. Recently, the outfit asked a schoolteacher to collect money on its behalf, but the security agencies came to know about the incident and the bid was foiled. The outfit then called up a BDO asking him to collect money but the call was intercepted and the bid was foiled.