The seven family members of the arrested United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa and self-styled deputy commander-in-chief Raju Barua are under police protection as it was felt that anti-ULFA forces might pose a threat to their lives.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said this in the Assembly on Monday

The seven, who were handed over to the police along with the arrested ULFA leaders, are: Mr. Rajkhowa’s wife Kabri Kachari Konwar, his minor son and daughter Gadadhar Rajkonwar and Khonsang Bohagi Rajkonwar, Mr. Barua’s wife Nirala Neog and minor daughter Pragati Kalita, wife of Sashadhar Choudhury (arrested ULFA finance secretary) Runima Cheita Choudhury and his minor daughter Sisir Anar Choudhury.

Mr. Gogoi later told journalists on the Assembly premises that the seven were free to go wherever they wished as there was no case against them. When it was pointed out that Mr. Rajhowa’s wife heads ULFA’s women wing Nari Bahini, he said it was not a banned outfit.

Earlier, Mr. Rajkhowa’s elder brother Ajay Rajkonwar told journalists that they wanted to take Mr. Rajkhowa’s wife and children to their ancestral house. However, if the organisation needed her presence, she would take a decision. Like the Rajkhowa’s family, the relatives of Mr. Barua and Choudhury were also looking forward to meeting and taking the responsibilities of the arrested ULFA leaders’ wife and children.