'ULFA trying to create disturbances before Aug 15'
Guwahati: The anti-talk faction of ULFA is looking to hit in a big way in the run-up to the Independence Day celebrations but the police has put in place strategies to foil such efforts, Assam DGP J N Choudhury said.
"ULFA still has capability to carry out blasts and small killings and they will try to indulge in such incidents before August 15. Their purpose is to instill fear and create an atmosphere where they can carry out their extortion attempts," Choudhury said on Saturday.
"However, we have put in place all arrangements, including gearing up our intelligence, to ensure that such efforts do not succeed. Our effort is to track them and prevent them from succeeding," he added.
Choudhury said among the major targets of ULFA are the districts of upper Assam -- Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sibsagar and Jorhat -- besides lower Assam districts of Goalpara and Bongaigaon.
"Guwahati is also a target. In fact, ULFA is trying very hard to hit the city because any strike on the North East's largest city would be a major news across the country," he said.
He said the arrest of seven ULFA operatives in Tinsukia late last night was due to efforts of the police intelligence.
On being asked about the militant outfits cadre strength, Choudhury said, "It is true that their cadre base had shrunk. But for them, small strikes with 3-4 cadres is enough to make their presence felt."
The state police has already sounded a red alert across Assam in the run up to August 15. In the past two weeks, ULFA has struck thrice in Goalpara targeting the Army and CRPF with IEDs, besides killing one village defence member in Sibsagar.