The hard-line faction of the ULFA claims Himanta Biswa Sharma, Health Minister, Assam was a member of the outfit; Supreme Court to hear petition on Manipur blockade; Six injured in a blast in Imphal; PM’s statement undermines Naga talks; United People’s D
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  • (December 12-18, 2011)

    According to reports, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) claimed that Health and Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was once a member of the political wing of the outfit. Meanwhile, Sarma said that it was a political attack against him and asserted that the fight against the militant outfit would continue. In a release, the publicity in charge of the hard-line faction of the ULFA, Arunodoi Dohotiya said that Himanta Biswa Sarma was a member of the political wing of the ULFA but he was forced to leave the outfit because of his lack of knowledge about the revolution. 1

    In another development, reports noted that the over three-month-long road blockade in Manipur has led the Supreme Court to hear a petition seeking directions to Centre and the State Government to ensure free movement on the National Highways running through the State. The Supreme Court is going to hear the petition tomorrow seeking appropriate action to clear the blockade. The petition moved by the former Director General of BSF Prakash Singh has sought directions to the Centre and the State Government that they should take steps to ensure that there was no recurrence of such blockades. 2

    Meanwhile, six people were reportedly injured when a powerful bomb went off in the Public Works Department (PWD) office complex in a crowded area of the Manipur capital. 3

    According to reports, the Naga International Support Center (NISC) has stated that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has put a bomb under the 14-year-old peace talks between India and Nagaland with his statement on guaranteeing the integrity of Manipur made in Imphal earlier this month. The Naga body questioned on what had moved the Prime Minister to make such a statement when he knew that this was deadly against the reunification of Naga areas. 4

    Meanwhile, marking an end to its arms movement, the United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) laid down arms, vowing to contribute towards the development and peace of Karbi Anglong through political activism. Having already made its political pursuits clear, a total of 568 members of the outfit, including 14 from the central executive committee, took part in the arms laying ceremony organised at Diphu, Karbi Anglong in the presence of Assam DGP Sankar Barua, General Officer Commanding, 4 Corps, Shakti Gurung, ADGP Khagen Sarma and Deputy Commissioner of Karbi Anglong Rakesh Kumar, among others. 5

    Reports noted that the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and several other organisations opposing the construction of the mega dam over river Subansiri in Gerukamukh blocked vehilces carrying construction materials to the NHPC worksite on the outskirts of North Lakhimpur. As a result, more than a hundred trucks carrying machinery and other logistics were left stranded. This created a huge convergence of curious onlookers and mediapersons at the Pahumara tiniali here. Normal traffic was also affected considerably as the vehicles had to slow down due to the blockade. 6

    According to reports, fifty-seven cadres of 17 different underground outfits surrendered in Imphal along with a huge cache of arms and ammunition before Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh during a surrendering ceremony held at the Headquarters IGAR (South) at Mantripukhri, Imphal. The surrendered 57 cadres included five from United National Liberation Front (UNLF), 15 from People’s United Liberation Front (PULF), two each from PULF (UF), UTLA and People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak PREPAK (VC), one each from PULF (MI Khan), Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) MTF, KCP (City Meitei), KCP (Tabongia), PREPAK (PRO), People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA) and NSCN (K), six cadres each from PREPAK, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Kuki National liberation Front (KNLF) and four from Kanglei Yaol Kanna Lup (KYKL). The Chief Minister appealed to all other underground outfits which are not under SoO to abjure violence. 7

    In other develoepmts, two rebels of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) were killed in a gunfight in Meghalaya's East Garo Hills. The battle broke out in Darimgre forests near Williamnagar, the district headquarters when the rebels fired at the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) commandos who were tracking them down. 8