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Maoists trying to forge links with ULFA

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, March 9 � The Maoist rebel groups have started making efforts to establish tactical alliance with the hard line faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) headed by the commander-in-chief of the outfit, Paresh Baruah in the wake of the recent developments including the move of the pro-talk members of the ULFA including the outfit�s chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa starting the process of talks with the Government of India.

Highly-placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that the Maoist rebel groups already established contacts with militant groups like the PLA of Manipur and NSCN (I-M) of Nagaland and though the Maoists have been trying to establish links with the ULFA for a long time, the efforts gathered ground in the wake of the recent developments. Sources said that according to information available, the Maoist rebel groups have already sent feelers to Paresh Baruah in this regard.

However, sources pointed out that it is doubtful whether Paresh Baruah would accept the feelers of the Maoist rebel groups. The Maoists definitely stand to gain more from such an alliance as it would give them a major foothold in Assam. But on the other hand, the ULFA hardline faction would lose its identity as their movement would then be virtually merged into a pan India movement, sources pointed out.

According to information with the security agencies, the Maoist rebel groups had earlier received help from the ULFA and as per intelligence inputs, the ULFA had procured weapons for the Maoists way back in 2001. A ship with weapons was sent by the ULFA from the Thailand coast and it landed in Orissa coast in 2001, but the security agencies came to know of the arms movement only much later. However, the security agencies believe that it was purely a commercial transaction by the ULFA, sources added.

Meanwhile, MHA sources further revealed that the Maoist groups have recently undergone an ideological reorientation and termed the nationality struggles launched by different militant groups as a type of class struggle launched by the Maoists for the benefit of the deprived sections of the society. The Maoists had earlier decided to extend support to the nationality struggles, but with a number of militant outfits coming forward to solve their problems through talks with the Government of India, the Maoist groups have decided to set up their own bases in the areas earlier dominated by other militant groups.

The Maoist groups recently formed an upper Assam Leading committee, which issued a statement in support of Paresh Baruah and three members of the committee were also arrested in a Maoist base in a jungle bordering Orissa and Jharkhand, while, another camp of the Maoists were busted in South Garo Hills way back in 2006.

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