NATIONAL

ISI trained ULFA cadres in use of explosives ?

NEW DELHI DEC. 24. Even as the Bhutanese Army continues mopping up operations after pounding the camps of the Northeast militant outfits in Bhutan, it has been revealed that some United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) cadres visited Pakistan in mid-2002 for training in handling explosives.

Though the top ULFA leadership is believed to be safely lodged in Bangladesh, its chairman, Aurobindo Rajkhowa, had been escorted out of Bhutan as late as September this year by ULFA men through the Hakua river bridge-Dhubri camp route.

Well-placed sources in the Government said that the hand of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence in training ULFA cadres in arms and explosives had been suspected for long but detailed questioning of Mithinga Daimary alias Deepak Kachari, ULFA central publicity secretary, revealed that Ashanta Bagphukan, Raju Baruah, Biju Deka, Prasanto Rajguru, Merin Das and Pradyut Buragohain had gone to Pakistan in early and mid-2002 for training in handling Programmed Time Devices and explosives. The group was expecting the PTDs from abroad soon, he said.

According to Daimary, the last consignment of arms the outfit received in Bhutan from Bangladesh was in December 2002 through the Meghalaya-Bongaigaon (Panbari) corridor. The outfit had four wireless transmitter sets in Bhutan at its central headquarters and in the eastern and western zones, he said. The organisation was also using five satellite phones for unhindered communication.The outfit was running eight major and five minor camps in Bhutan with a combined strength of around 400 cadres, he said. Daimary, who belongs to Nalbari district, joined ULFA in 1986 and after training in Jorhat district he was given various responsibilities before becoming the publicity secretary in 1995.

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