ULFA- A Threat To Nationalism
The recent killings of more than 50 Hindi speaking population of Assam1 are the remainder of how situation in Assam is out of control. About 138,212,194,149 and 96 civilians have been killed in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 respectively due to terrorist violence. From 1992 onwards about 4443 people have been killed in terrorist violence of which 1373 terrorists and 611 security forces have been killed.2
There are many insurgent groups operating in Assam like-National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), Adivasi Cobra Force (ACF), Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam (MULTA) United People's Democratic Solidarity (UPDS), Bodo Liberation Tigers [BLT].Only NDFB and ULFA are banned organizations. ULFA was banned in 1990.
United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) was formed on April 7, 1979 by Bhimakanta Buragohain, Rajiv Rajkonwar alias Arabinda Rajkhowa, Golap Baruah alias Anup Chetia, Samiran Gogoi alias Pradip Gogoi, Bhadreshwar Gohain and Paresh Baruah at the Rang Ghar in Sibsagar to establish a "sovereign socialist Assam" through an armed struggle.3 It considers itself a "revolutionary political organization" engaged in a "liberation struggle" against India for the establishment of a sovereign, independent Assam.4
Some of the major assassinations by ULFA include that of Surendra Paul in May 1990, the brother of businessman Lord Swraj Paul, that precipitated a situation leading to the sacking of the Government of Assam under Prafulla Mahanta and the beginning of Operation Bajrang. In 1997, Sanjay Ghose, a social activist and a relative of a high ranking Indian diplomat, was kidnapped and killed An unsuccessful assassination attempt was made on AGP Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta in 1997. A mass grave, discovered at a destroyed ULFA camp in Lakhipathar forest, showed evidence of executions committed by ULFA.5
During the Kargil conflict, the ULFA issued a statement condemning Indian Government's role in Kashmir. The language of the above statement was exactly the same as that issued by the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, a Pakistan based terrorist outfit controlled by the ISI. There are enough evidences to prove that ISI had provided training to many cadres of ULFA apart from arms supply to them.6
According to ULFA Assam is not a part of India but an independent country. It has been killing Hindi-speaking people on the basis that Hindi speakers are Indians. But if we allow this type of tendency to grow, and then there will be an ULFA in every non-Hindi speaking state. ULFA is a threat to India’s unity and integrity. It was a blunder on the part of the government to announce ceasefire or try to have negotiation with such an organization helping them to regroup and increase their strength. Realization of this blunder made Gogoi to say on Jan 15-“In retrospect, I admit that the judgment may be a little wrong when we offered a ceasefire to the ULFA.”7