Other States

A twist in the Guwahati grenade attack case

Police arrest the ‘mastermind’ — a pro-talks ULFA member working for anti-talks faction

Terror in Guwahati, Assam’s principal city, has come from an unexpected group — the pro-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) that had shunned violence a decade ago.

The Assam police on Thursday said they had arrested the mastermind of Wednesday’s grenade attack that injured 12 people, including two Seema Shashastra Bal personnel. He turned out to be a member of the pro-talks ULFA working for the anti-talks faction led by the outfit’s military chief Paresh Baruah, believed to be operating from the Ruili area on the China-Myanmar border.

Most of the ULFA leaders and members have either surrendered or are in talks mode. A few remain with Mr. Baruah’s ULFA-Independent.

“We launched search operations immediately after the blast and cracked the case in the morning. We raided a three-bedroom house in the Panjabari area of the city and arrested Pranamoy Rajguru, who joined the ULFA in 1986, and a 40-year-old woman named Jahnabi Saikia,” City Commissioner of Police Deepak Kumar said.

 

A 9mm pistol, 25 rounds of ammunition, bomb-making devices, and 20 kg of gunpowder were recovered from the house, apart from a flag, documents and literature associated with the ULFA. “The duo divulged information about the entire team in the sleeper cell, how they brought the explosives and the logistics. We will catch the others soon,” Mr. Kumar said.

While the “twist in the plot” has woken the police up to the threat from unmonitored sleeper cells of local extremist groups, most of them in ceasefire mode, Rajguru was cryptic about his role as a “double agent” for the anti-talks faction of ULFA. “Our fight will continue till our demands [primarily, sovereignty of Assam] are fulfilled. The government should know that these activities will continue,” he said as he was taken away for interrogation.

The pro-talks ULFA refrained from issuing any statement. But the outfit’s general secretary Anup Chetia said Rajguru was not an active member as the police claimed. “He used to run errands for us before joining us when talks started [in February 2011],” Mr. Chetia said.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 5:14:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/a-twist-in-the-guwahati-grenade-attack-case/article27151868.ece

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