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Saturday, January 20, 2007
ULFA ultimatum to Hindi-speaking people: Get out of Assam
Marking a new turn in the violence that the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) has unleashed on the non-Assamese, the outlawed outfit has asked all Hindi-speaking people to leave Assam.

The ULFA, in its mouthpiece, Freedom, said: "We have appealed to the Hindi-speaking people to leave because of the conflict in Assam, which is against colonial India. However, colonial administrators and illegal occupation forces instigate the Hindi-speaking population to ignore our appeal."

Freedom added: "We have also appealed to all concerned, whether Hindi-speaking or not, not to cooperate with the occupational forces in carrying oppression in Assam so as to ruin the national liberation struggle."

Four militant outfits – including ULFA, Kamotapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), Manipur People’s Liberation Front (MPLF), and Tripura People’s Democratic Front (TPDF) – have called for a boycott of the Republic Day celebrations and a general strike on that day, on January 26.

The warning statement by the ULFA mouthpiece further said "the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had no right to accuse the ULFA of attacking the Hindi-speaking people while they had killed thousands of men and women in Gujarat and also during the Babri masjid demolition incident."

"The government," it alleged, "has launched a military operation against the ULFA under the pretext of ensuring the safety of the life and property of the Hindi-speaking people inhabiting Upper Assam. More than 20,000 troops have been deployed, including 13,000 Army personnel, beginning January 9, 2006."

An ULFA spokesman said "Assam has a store of operational examples about the Indian military offensive carried out with an aim to eliminate the ULFA. Just before every operation, the Indian authority devises an atmosphere of unrest by organising planned massacre, blaming the ULFA for this to initiate Army offensive."

The banned outfit has claimed responsibility for the recent massacre in upper Assam, in which 62 persons – most of them migrant Bihari workers – were killed.

The Union Cabinet has directed the Assam Government to strengthen security to thwart any fresh strike on Hindi-speaking people and other soft targets.

Meanwhile, the All-Assam Students Union (AASU) has accused the ULFA of not only keeping silent on the burning problem of infiltration of illegal migrants from Bangladesh but also taking help from foreign forces.

Reacting to a statement by ULFA chief Paresh Barua in which he accused the student union of siding with the "Indian state," AASU adviser Samujjal Kumar Bhattcharyya said the ULFA was silent on the influx of illegal migrants as its leaders were based in Bangladesh.

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