Tuesday, June 14, 2005

INDIA: The ULFA Business

On the issue of Bangladeshi immigration ULFA says that it is against all foreigners that include Indians who have come from other parts of India . It knows this kind of condition would be difficult for the Indian state to meet. The question which now arises is why ULFA is so reluctant to come to the negotiating table. The answer probably lies in the business interests that ULFA has developed in Bangladesh during the course of insurgency in the state. In the last week of May, Bangladesh had claimed that it has started a crackdown against the insurgent groups active in northeast India . Its security forces reportedly killed five militants of the National Liberation Front of Tripura in an encounter on May 27. Immediately, after this so called crackdown, India on June 3 unveiled a list of hotels and other assets allegedly owned by the ULFA in Bangladesh . The Border Security Force’s top official in the Northeast, S.C. Shrivastava disclosed that ULFA leaders based in Bangladesh were managing as many as seven hotels of “international standard.” Besides, they also owned some nursing homes. He alleged that the militant group owned Surma International, Hotel Mohammadia and Padma International in Dhaka, Keya International and Hotel Yamuna in Sylhet and Hotel Basundhara and Hotel Raj King in Chittagong . He said the managers of these hotels were ULFA militants who operated under aliases such as Ahmed, Kamal Hossain, Saidul, Shoal, Humayun and Rubel.

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