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Assam: People shouted pro ULFA slogans outside the court

Posted by Admin on December 7, 2009

Rap on cops over pro- ULFA slogans – Assam CM miffed over lapses in crowd handling

Guwahati, Dec. 6: Dispur today censured police for their alleged inefficient handling of the “pro-Ulfa slogan-shouting” crowd that gathered outside the court of the chief judicial magistrate here last evening to catch a glimpse of the outfit’s chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa.

Sources in Dispur today said chief minister Tarun Gogoi took strong exception to yesterday’s episode when a large number of people shouted slogans eulogising Rajkhowa and Ulfa and imploring the arrested leaders — Rajkhowa and deputy commander-in-chief Raju Barua — not to surrender.

Cries of “Arabinda Rajkhowa zindabad,” “Ulfa zindabad” and “surrender nokoribo” (don’t surrender) rent the air as Rajkhowa and Barua were being produced in court.

“The chief minister has conveyed to the police higher-ups to make enquiries as to how such a lapse was allowed to take place,” a source said.

“It is not a formal order, but the fact that it has come from the chief minister is significant and should carry sufficient weight,” he said.

City special superintendent of police P.C. Saloi was standing barely a few feet away from sloganeers, surrounded by a posse of policemen deployed to maintain order. The source said last evening’s episode had poured cold water on years of efforts of the government to wean away people from Ulfa.

“This has come as an even bigger embarrassment for the government, which has been maintaining that Ulfa had lost its connection with the masses and was now nothing more than a band of terrorists controlled by foreign agencies,” the source said. “The Ulfa leaders were also provided a virtual platform to espouse its cause of sovereignty and all this happened in the state capital with the seat of power not very far away,” he said.

What has turned into an embarrassment for the government became the rallying point for an offensive by Ulfa as the outfit’s commander-in-chief Paresh Barua today claimed “moral victory” following the unprecedented show of public support.

“The hollow claims of the colonial rulers that Ulfa does not have mass support have been brutally exposed by slogans like ‘Ulfa zindabad’ and ‘Arabinda Rajkhowa zinda-bad’. It is an embarrassing defeat of the dirty politics of the colonial rulers,” the Ulfa leader said in a statement mailed to the media.

Barua stated that Rajkhowa and Raju Barua have also exposed the “week-long drama staged by colonial India” through their bold declaration that they had “not surrendered” and that there can be no negotiations without the issue of “sovereignty of Asom”.

The rebel leader stated that the “moral victory” would enable the outfit and its cadres to move ahead with new determination towards their goal.

Harekrishna Deka, former director-general of police, said it was the dilly-dallying tactics of the authorities that the two Ulfa leaders have taken advantage of. It was a total failure of the arrangements made to produce the two leaders on the court premises. The worst part was that the two were brought in handcuffs, which aroused sympathy for them.

“A residual sympathy for the Ulfa leaders, which I will describe as maternal sympathy, on the part of the Assamese community is still there and it was this sentiment which triggered the pro-Ulfa slogans,” Deka said.

A senior police official said the situation had been allowed to slip ever since the arrest of Ulfa foreign secretary Sasha Choudhury and finance secretary Chitrabon Hazarika who were allowed to espouse the cause of sovereignty every time they faced the media in the court.

UNLF support

Manipur’s United National Liberation Front (UNLF) today extended its solidarity with Ulfa and appreciated the reported statement taken by the outfit’s chairman Rajkhowa that he did not surrender to the Indian government, our Imphal correspondent adds.

The UNLF lauded Rajkhowa’s reaffirmation of the stand that he would not talk if the issue of sovereignty was not on the agenda.

In a statement issued here today, the UNLF chairman Sana Yaima said Rajkhowa’s firm stand had given a new surge of inspiration not only to the patriotic people of Assam but also to the patriotic people of the region. TT


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