ULFA got 'fresh lease of life' through Citizenship Bill, says Assam cop
GUWAHATI: A senior Assam Police officer said on Sunday, November 11 that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill — proposed by the Union government — has given 'a fresh lease of life' to the activities of the United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent), the militant outfit suspected by police to be behind the killing of five farmers in Tinsukia district recently.
Director General (Special Branch) of Assam Police Pallav Bhattacharjee said police foiled ULFA's plan
to recruit another batch of eight youths and that a number of men from five districts have gravitated towards the banned organisation.
"Since September 1, eight youths have joined ULFA, and another eight were apprehended in the process of joining it," Bhattacharyya told the media.
The 1986-batch IPS officer said strong public sentiment against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Brahmaputra Valley has given a 'fresh lease of life' to ULFA, which has been claiming that the 'bill threatens the existence of indigenous people' of the state.
He further added that a leader of the All Assam Students' Union's Dergaon unit, Pankaj Pratim Dutta, recently joined ULFA which is a very 'disturbing' development.
The proposed amendment to the Citizenship Bill, 1955 seeks to grant citizenship to people from minority communities - Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians - from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after six years of residence in India instead of 12 even if they don't possess any proper document.
A large section of people and organizations in the Northeast have opposed the bill, saying it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971 as the cut off date for deportation of all illegal immigrants irrespective of religion.
The DGP (SB) said police were keeping a strict vigil on ULFA's attempts to lure youths from Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sibsagar, Golaghat and Udalguri districts.
Five Bengali Hindus were killed by suspected ULFA militants in Tinsukia district on November 1.
File photo of Paresh Baruah