The youths are all residents of Jerai Gaon -- the native village of ULFA-I supremo Paresh Baruah -- under Chabua police station in Assam’s Dibrugarh district

Tinsukia: Three childhood friends, all aged between 18 and 20 years, were timely intercepted midway by the police in Assam’s Dibrugarh district on Sunday evening while they were on their way to cross over to Myanmar to join the banned insurgent outfit ULFA-I.

The youths have been identified as Janu Baruah (20), Basanta Gohain (18) and Chinmoy Hondique (18), all residents of Jerai Gaon — the native village of ULFA-I supremo Paresh Baruah — under Chabua police station in Dibrugarh district.

The development comes at a time when several youths have been reportedly gone missing and suspected to have joined ULFA-I, amid ongoing anti-CAA protests — a reason of worry for the state that has been battling insurgency for almost four decades now.

Speaking with EastMojo, Dibrugarh SP Sreejith T said that based on missing reports filed by family members of these three youths, who went missing almost a week ago, the police pressed its sources to track them. “On Sunday, we tracked them to Makum in Tinsukia district and brought them back to Chabua police station.”

“The youths, all school dropouts and unemployed, were counselled and let go,” he added.

Sreejith T said, “The reasons behind their decision to join ULFA-I is noteworthy on two accounts. “First, they were misguided by Tapovan Gohain, known to them since long. More significantly, they were school dropouts and were jobless.”

“We are taking up with district administration to engage them with rural livelihood training so that they can find jobs and make for their living,” Sreejith T added.

According to sources, security forces are trying to identify the route and over ground network which was tasked to escort them till international border through Arunachal Pradesh.

In December last year, six minors from Kujupather Sankardeva HS School in Bordumua in Tinsukia district were detained by police for planning to join ULFA-I.

In January alone, eight youths — six from Tinsukia district and two from Dibrugarh district — have gone missing. EastMojo have learnt from sources in police that both the youths from Dibrugarh district have joined the outfit.

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