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Ulfa admits seeking Britain’s help for its secessionist struggle | India News

GUWAHATI: Close on the heels of the National Archives of the UK declassifying documents that reveal how Assam’s proscribed Ulfa once sought Britain’s “diplomatic support” for its armed secessionist campaign, the outfit’s general secretary Anup Chetia revealed to TOI that meeting diplomat David Austin in Dhaka in 1990 was the end of this audacious gamble.
“It’s true that I and two (of) my associates had met Austin in Dhaka in 1990. The diplomat only told us that he was taking note of our request for diplomatic support, but there was no word from him or the British government after that,” Chetia said.
“We wanted Britain to support our movement and intervene in the human rights violations in Assam. We did not seek any material support… it was only diplomatic support that we wanted,” said Chetia, who is currently leading a faction of the outfit in its talks with the Centre.
The duo that accompanied him were the outfit’s then publicity secretary Siddhartha Phukan, alias Sunil Nath, and foreign secretary Iqbal, alias Munin Nabis.
The two have long severed ties with Ulfa. Denying that Ulfa had any understanding with Bangladesh, Chetiasaid, “We were all staying, rather hiding, there illegally. We had no agreement with the Bangladesh government.”
He added, “We did send our cadre to Afghanistan for training. We had to build a channel in Pakistan to send our boys to Afghanistan, but we did not have any kind of official understanding with the two countries.” Chetia revealed that Ulfa had its base in Bhutan for about six years till 2003 and still has one in Myanmar. On whether the outfit ever had any ties with China, where Chetia’s cousin and the Ulfa anti-talks faction’s chief Paresh Baruah is suspected to be based, he claimed to have no information regarding this.



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