GUWAHATI, June 9 � Extortion demands by members of the hardline faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the miscreants posing as militants have become a major cause of concern and recently, senior officer of the Oil India Limited (OIL) Phanindra Kumar Dev Choudhury, who is a well known Assamese writer, also received such a demand note.
When contacted by The Assam Tribune, Dev Choudhury said that at around 12.20 pm on June 5, two youths came to his quarter and delivered a demand note issued in the name of the ULFA where an amount of Rs 5 lakh was demanded from him. He said that the youths first gave him an envelop bearing the name of someone else and when pointed out, they gave him the letter addressed to him. �After opening the letter I saw that it was a demand note in which an amount of Rs 5 lakh was demanded from me,� he said. In the last few days, he also received a number of phone calls and SMS from those who demanded money from him.
Dev Choudhury said that he was hurt by such a demand as he never expected such a letter from anyone. �But I decided to come out in the open on the issue as sitting quiet will not help anyone,� he added. He also said that he immediately informed the OIL authorities about the incident.
On the other hand, the Superintendent of Police of Dibrugarh district, Arabinda Kalita, when contacted, said that there are reasons to believe that the letter delivered to Dev Choudhury was a fake one delivered by miscreants in an attempt to earning some easy money.
Kalita said that a massive operation has been launched immediately after receiving the information and since last night, seven linkmen of the ULFA have been picked up. He expressed the hope that the police would be able to nab the culprits involved soon.
When asked whether any other officer of the OIL received such demand notes, Kalita said that he was not aware of that. He said that there have been instances when people kept quiet after receiving demands from the militants or miscreants. He appealed to all sections of people to inform the police immediately after receiving any letter or call from anyone demanding money so that immediate action can be taken to nab the culprits. �If the people keep quiet after receiving demands, the miscreants will be in an advantageous position,� he added.
Meanwhile, the hardline faction of the ULFA today denied sending an extortion note to Dev Choudhury.