ULFA (I) rebels inan undisclosed location. (File photo)

DIBRUGARH: The ULFA (I) has been recruiting youths from upper Assam through various social media platforms, said a police official.

Recently, many youths have joined the rebel outfit after they were brainwashed through various social media platforms.

According to information, under the supervision of ULFA-I leader Aiseng Axom, the youths have joined the rebel outfit. 

“The rebel outfit used several social media platforms to lure the youths to join the rebel group. They searched the profiles of the youths and if they find that they can be influenced, then they start brainwashing them to join the rebel outfit,” said a police source.

Sources said ULFA (I) has become active in the Jagun area of Tinsukia district and silently started extortion dive.

The ULFA (I) leaders have become media-savvy and very frequently they connect to the media houses.

“Extortion activities yet again started in some of the pockets of upper Assam. They have targeted the businessmen and in a very secret manner they are collecting ransom,” said a source.

Tinsukia district of upper Assam is known as the hotbed of ULFA (I).  The district shares boundaries with Arunachal Pradesh and it is very easy for the insurgent group to sneak into the upper Assam districts from Myanmar. 

Sources said ULFA (I) has been targeting the unemployed youths of upper Assam to join them.  

Recently a Youth Congress vice present of upper Assam’s Tinsukia district stunned everyone when he announced on a Facebook post addressed to his pregnant wife that he has joined the banned ULFA (I).

The 44-year-old Janardan from Uday Nagar in Tinsukia district’s Sadiya town wrote to his wife Reema on Facebook that he “couldn’t wait to see our own people being destroyed since they are helpless in their own state…Our culture, our language and identity are being erased systematically”.

During the last few years, it has been seen that many of the rebels who joined ULFA (I) have returned to the mainstream.

Some of the youths who had joined ULFA (I) and subsequently returned to the mainstream still don’t know why they had joined the insurgent group.

According to sources, ULFA (I) has also engaged many overground workers to influence youths for joining the outfit. 

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com