Guwahati, Sep 24 : At least 20 militants of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and their family members were arrested by security forces in Bangladesh in renewed crackdown by Dhaka on anti-India separatists, an Indian intelligence official said Friday.
The arrests were made from ULFA bases inside Bangladesh Wednesday and include top militants like rebel commander Anu Buragohain, Bhaiti Baruah, Biju Deka, and Pradyut Buragohain, the intelligence official added.
Self-styled ULFA commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah confirmed the development, but said around 20 rebels fled the camp and were presently taking shelter in "enemy camp."
“Some of our cadres with their family members fled the camp with the help of Indian intelligence agencies and also with the active support of two of our senior jailed leaders and are now taking shelter in the enemy camp," the ULFA commander-in-chief said in an e-mail statement.
“We are not at all demoralised by their action.”
There is no immediate confirmation to Paresh Baruahs allegations.
But sources in Bangladesh said, all the arrested ULFA leaders and their family members were handed over to Indian authorities.
Dhaka last year launched a massive crackdown against the ULFA and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and got several of their top leaders arrested and later handed them over to India.
Among those arrested in last years crackdown include ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, deputy commander-in-chief Raju Baruah, foreign secretary Sasha Choudhury, and finance secretary Chitraban Hazarika.
NDFB chairman Ranjan Daimary was also arrested in May and later handed over to India.