UPLA commander-in-chief, two accomplices arrested in Assam

Guwahati, July 25 : In a severe blow to the ongoing revival process, the United Peoples Liberation Army (UPLA) and other terrorist groups operating in the hill districts of Assam, a joint team of the army and the Assam Police have arrested UPLA commander-in-chief Nikunja Kathar and his two accomplices.

Based on specific intelligence, a surgical operation was launched by a joint team of army and police, which apprehended Kathar and his accomplices and seized arms and ammunition from their possession, said a defence statement.

Kathar is a hardcore terrorist and has been involved in numerous acts of killing, extortion and kidnappings, including the killing of Superintendent of Police (SP), West Karbi Anglong, Nityananda Goswami in June 2014.

Kathar is an ex-United People's Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) cadre, who was instrumental in raising, training and illegally equipping the terrorist outfit UPLA.

Earlier, Kathar was arrested in 2014, and had been absconding since he was granted bail in November 2014.

Preliminary interrogation has confirmed his recent visit to Myanmar, where he was in talks with National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang), United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) and Karbi People's Liberation Tiger (KPLT) under the umbrella of the United Liberation Front of Western South East Asia (UNLFWSEA) to revive UPLA in the hill districts and also execute sabotage activities including IED blasts in Assam in the run up to the Independence Day, said the defence statement.

Kathar was also carrying out reconnaissance of specific areas in East and West Karbi Anglong for establishment of training camps and recruitment of new cadres, it added.

The army said his apprehension is also likely to adversely impact the safe conduit of arms, ammunition and IEDs from neighbouring states and Myanmar to Assam.