GUWAHATI, Dec 4 � The hard line faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) does not have any shortage of weapons, but the outfit lacks adequate number of well trained cadres to plan and carry out operations. Moreover, the cadre strength of the outfit is also increasing with recruitment of new cadres.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that according to information available with the security agencies, total number of weapons with the outfit at present would be at least 3:1 , that is three weapons against one cadre. Of course, most of the weapons are kept in the bases of the outfit in Myanmar.
Sources said that the hard line faction of the ULFA recently procured different sophisticated weapons including Lethod guns, which can be used to fire grenades to a long distance and AK 81 rifles. The outfit also has a number of remote controlled explosive devices.
A few months back, the hard line faction of the ULFA managed to procure at least 1500 sophisticated weapons and according to reports, the outfit gave away almost half of the weapons to other militant outfits including Manipur based group PLA. But it is not known whether the outfit received any money in return of the weapons.
On the whereabouts of Paresh Baruah, sources said that as per information available, Baruah spends most of his time in Myanmar-China border areas. However, he frequently crosses over to China to make phone calls. But he rarely visits the main camps of the ULFA in Myanmar, which are located nearer to the border with India, sources added.
The total cadre strength of the hard line faction of the ULFA has been estimated by the security agencies to be to the tune of around 300 as the outfit recently recruited around 150 cadres from different places of Upper Assam and they have been sent to Myanmar for training. However, sources said that the outfit now does not have many trained cadres to carry out successful operations and that is why the recent offensive of the outfit were foiled easily by security forces.
Sources said that the ULFA has been taking the help of PLA to carry out operations and though in the months of June and July, two teams of ULFA and PLA were sent for launching operations in Assam, they failed to carry out their assigned tasks. Intelligence reports indicate that the ULFA and PLA are again planning joint operations in Assam.
The ULFA now does not have any camp in Bangladesh, but a few members of the outfit are still staying in the hideouts in that country. Senior ULFA member Drishti Rajkhowa sometimes visits Bangladesh and sometimes stays in Garo Hills in the hideouts of the GNLA and he managed to recruit at least 20 new cadres in recent days.