Now school student as a means by ULFA-I
The United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) is now using school children as sleeper cells, besides, school boys have also been engaged by the outfit in planting IEDs. This has come to light following investigations into the recent explosion of IEDs triggered by the outfit on and before the Independence Day recently in Tinsukia, revealed intelligence sources.
“Two students of Kakajan High School in Tinsukia have confessed that they were engaged in planting IEDs at various places,” highly-placed intelligence sources told, adding, “This has proved what we had speculated. There were slight indications that this might happen.”
The students are studying in Class IX and Class X, aged 14 and 16 years respectively.
Mugdhajyoti Mahana, Superintendent of Police, Tinsukia told , “The duo disclosed that they had planted the IEDs on August 11 following instructions from the ULFA (I). This is a rare case. But, from now, we will keep activities by children in our radar.”
He added, “Earlier, drug addicts and small-time thieves were used in such activities.”
The students revealed that they had planted the IEDs at Laipuli, Philobari Line 6 in Badlabata tea estate, Line 8 in Chakrating and near a bridge at Doom Dooma.
Top police sources also disclosed that four ULFA (I) cadres had handed over the IEDs and a motorcycle to the students on August 10. The cadres were from Morigaon, Jorhat, Golaghat and Sivasagar.
Intelligence sources said, “It is probably because all our eyes are on the rebels. School-going students are seldom doubted.”
Assam DGP Mukesh Sahay said, “Right now, not much can be said about it. Investigations are going on and we hope that crucial information will be acquired.”
Reacting to the use of children in such activities, Miguel Das Queah, child rights activist and founder of UTSAH said, “When a child does something like this there is only one agency to be blamed and that is the Government. With so much economic and social deprivation, innocent children will obviously be used by interest groups to carry out nefarious activities and that too for a little amount of money.”
Runumi Gogoi, Chairperson, Assam State Commission for Protection of Child, said, “It is really sad. But the extremist organizations search for child soldiers as they can be easily manipulated. The two children will now go to observation homes and will go through counselling”