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Friday, April 10, 2009

Decades of Terror in Assam: ULFA turns 30


It was exactly thirty years ago that the United Liberation Front of Asom or Assam (ULFA) was founded with the aim to establish an independent sovereign state through armed 'struggle'. The foundation day was April 7, 1979.

[Photo: ULFA's flag in Tinsukia in Assam]

And to mark its raising day, it again struck--serial blasts across the state on the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit (that was cancelled) causing the death of 10 persons and injuries to 70 others.

Wasn't it an open and audacious challenge to the government? But that's hardly surprising given the dreaded outfit's history. On its official homepage, the outfit claims itself to be a revolutionary political organisation that aims to liberate 78,529 sq km of land illegally under Indian occupation.

The masterminds of the recent blasts were Pradeep Kalita, Akash Thapa and Mukunda Rajbongshi, police said. The deaths and destruction in North East generally goes unnoticed compared to rest of the India.

In the last 30 years, nearly 8,000-10,000 persons have died in the region due to clashes between militants [or terrorists] who prefer themselves to be called as revolutionaries. The figure of deaths is perhaps second to only LTTE that is now nearing its end in Sri Lanka.

ULFA rebels believe that historically Assam was never part of India. Over the years, the organisation has carried out assassinations, killed security forces' personnel and policemen apart from accusations of killing Hindi speaking labourers of UP and Bihar.

Though ULFA completed 30 years of its existence, no news channel focused on doing a comprehensive story or report about 'Thirty years of Terrorism'. Over a quarter century has passed but it's either mentioned as separatist outfit or rarely as militant group in mainstream media. Is it because Assam is way off Delhi or because there is no Muslim cadre in ULFA?

Regarding comments and 'Terrorism':

Kindly comment after reading the post properly. My issue is that on one hand an objectionable term 'Islamic terrorism' is used everywhere, other terrorists are not even called terrorists. ULFA, BODO, Naga, LTTE, Naxalites and Abhinav Bharat are not even called Terrorist.

I don't want them to be termed as Hindu or Christian terrorist, but at least call them terrorist.

But they remain OUTLAWS, MAOISTS, REBELS or at the most EXTREMISIS and MILITANTS. That's the basic issue. Is it that only a group that has Muslim cadre qualifies for the definition of Terrorist? Crores of Muslims aren't fools, as they notice this prejudice every day.

Read related post on Terrorism: Naxalites kill 15 but it's not terror: Image of terrorist in media