A day after Assam Director General of Police (DGP) G P Singh dared insurgents to ‘target him’, the outlawed ULFA (I) Saturday challenged Singh to move around for a week without his security cover.
A purported statement from the insurgent group signed by self-styled Captain Rumel Asom, which was made available to the media, states, “(DGP) G P Singh threw us a challenge while speaking to the media on December 15, 2023. We have accepted the challenge on two conditions.”
Detailing the two conditions, the insurgent leader said the Assam top cop should use Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) or Indian Army personnel, excluding youths from “Western Southeast Asia (WESEA) region” or state police officials and constables as security officers or drivers.
“Secondly, move around freely in Guwahati for just a week if you can without security cover,” the insurgent outfit’s statement reads.
WESEA is a term insurgent outfits often use to refer to Assam and other northeastern states.
The statement came in response to DGP Singh’s recent comments wherein he said, “The Assamese people must question them (ULFA-I) about why they are doing these things. If they want to do something personal against someone, they should do it accordingly. They speak about me… When did I ever say that I was afraid of them? My residence is at Kahilipara and my office is at Ulubari. If you have any issues with me, come and target me.”
DGP Singh was commenting on a blast near Lichubari military station in Jorhat and two previous explosions in recent weeks at Tinsukia and Sivasagar districts of Assam, all of which were claimed by ULFA (I) to be their handiwork.
Without mentioning ULFA (I), DGP Singh had said that people should question the insurgents why they say they love Assam but hurt the people of Assam by violent activities.
Responding to his comments, the outlawed insurgent outfit said in its purported statement that many officials had died in clashes during the tenures of R K Singh, who served as Superintendent of Police of Tinsukia district, and Late Daulat Singh Negi. The latter served as Superintendent of Police of Dibrugarh district and was martyred in a ULFA ambush in July 1990.
The insurgent outfit claimed in its statement, “The officers killed in those clashes were our brothers. So, we had decided to evade any more clashes. But (DGP) GP Singh is repeatedly attempting to revive the fratricidal conflict. ULFA (I) warns him to abstain from these efforts.”
Citing the death of ULFA cadre Swadhinata Phukan in 2000 in an encounter at Jorhat, when incumbent DGP Singh was the Superintendent of Police of the district, the purported ULFA (I) statement says, “We know you don’t have the courage to accept our challenge. You can pick up an unarmed young man like Swadhinata Phukan from his bed at night and kill him with a cold mind.”
While Phukan was killed in an encounter with the police, the insurgent outfit alleged he was picked up by the police and killed in a false encounter.
This publication tried to get a reaction from DGP Singh over the insurgent outfit’s statement but he was unavailable for comments.