Bangladesh launches operation against NE ultras

According to highly placed intelligence sources, while Dhaka has so far remained tight-lipped about the recent developments, the operation against the Indian militants has been on since last week. There are a number of camps of the ULFA, along with those of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and the Kamatapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) in Bangladesh. The government of Bangladesh, according to the sources was contemplating such a move for a while now to restore peace on its "eastern front". There were, however, no reports of any major arrests so far, the sources said.

The first round of the present operations against the militants, said the sources, had led to the recovery of a large amount of arms and ammunition, including an anti-aircraft gun from the forests of the Baghaichhari subdivision in the Chittagong Hills Tracts (CHT) district. According to the sources, the BDR had in June this year recovered 62,000 rounds of ammunition and 114 kg of explosives meant for NLFT militants, from the Bogura district in the eastern part of the country. Of the nine persons arrested in the operation, seven are reported to have had direct links with the NLFT. The arrested persons were from the Tiprahati village, inhabited by members of the indigenous Tripuri community, in the Moulvi Bazar district of Bangladesh, the sources said. According to the sources, the Bangladesh police had also recently raided the house of Ashish Debbarma, who is said to be a major player in the arms bazar at Tiprahati. Debbarma has since been absconding. A Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) comprising 500 security personnel from the army, navy, air force and the police has also been raised by the Bangladesh government for the present operation, the sources said

By Surajit Talukdar(newsfiledelhi@rediffmail.com)