The rescued minors got in touch with ULFA-I through their social media handles, after which the banned insurgent outfit contacted them over Skype and Telegram apps
Tinsukia: Security forces claimed to have busted one of the biggest recruitment rackets of ULFA (Independent) in recent times, leading to the rescue of four minors who were about to join the banned outfit, and arrest of four rebels during a 24-hour-long operation that ended on Tuesday night.
A source in the Army told EastMojo that based on a specific input, a joint operation was launched by the Army and the police. "Two cadres, Diganta Gogoi alias Diganta Asom and Khogen Moran, were intercepted on NH-37 between Tinsukia and Makum immediately after they got down from a public transport," the source said.
"Four recruits (names not disclosed), all below 15 years, and two more cadres were arrested subsequently," the source added.
The development comes in the backdrop of reports of several youths having gone missing ever since Citizenship (Amendment) Act was passed, and corroboration of a few having joined ULFA-I.
Speaking with EastMojo, deputy inspector of general (NER) Jitmal Doley said that the interrogation of the arrested cadres led us to 4 youths who had jointed Ulfa (I). "We intercepted them somewhere near Assam-Arunachal border. The ULFA-I had tasked Diganta and Khogen to take the youths to Arunachal from where they would arrange their movement to ULFA-I camps in Myanmar through the Nampong route," he said.
"In the evening, two more ULFA-I cadres, Rana Handique alias Kokai and Abhijit Gogoi, were arrested from Digboi area," Doley added.
Security forces have recovered two 7.65 mm pistols, one .22 mm pistol with live bullets, three ULFA-I flags and a pair of jungle shoes during the operation.
"The minors came in touch with ULFA-I through their social media accounts. Later, the rebel outfit contacted them through Skype and Telegram to gather more information about them before taking a call on their joining the outfit," said Doley, adding, "Once convinced, they provided them the number of Khogen and asked them to get in touch with him."
According to Doley, more relevant details are likely to emerge during further interrogation. "What motivated them to join the outfit is something which is being looked upon," he said.
The arrested rebels were involved in recruitment of youths beside other activities for ULFA-I and the success of the operation has played a major role in rescue of four minors from taking the path of violence, another source in security forces added.