25 July, 2021

Offence, The Best Defence

Mahanta adopts aggressive tactics to rein in ULFA

Offence, The Best Defence

PRAFULLA Kumar Mahanta has probably decided that offence is the best form of defence when it comes to dealing with the banned ULFA. Having survived an audacious attempt on his life on June 8--a remote-controlled device was blasted by militants narrowly missing Mahanta's car while he was coming back home from the airport--the chief minister has turned the incident to his advantage. First, he organised a six-party bandh to protest against the assassination bid. Then, he disclosed to the media that the political wing of the ULFA along with several district leaders were willing to come forward for talks but were hamstrung by its belligerent military wing. This put the outfit on the defensive.

The ULFA's reaction was swift and strong. In a rare statement, its chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa lambasted Mahanta for trying to create a rift within the ranks by terming some leaders as hardliners and others as moderates. Projecting Mahanta as "friend of the enemy (the Centre)", Rajkhowa said: "Our enemy's friend cannot be our friend." The ULFA leader, along with...

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