The pro-talks faction of ULFA has questioned the Union home ministry and peace interlocutor AB Mathur about the progress of the investigation into the missing case of former PCG member Rebati Phukan.
Phukan, a childhood friend of ULFA (I) chief Paresh Baruah, went missing on April 22 from his Guwahati residence leaving behind his two cell phones at home.
Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal ordered a search unit of Assam Police to take up the case, but police have made no headway yet.
ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia said that the outfit’s central executive committee had raised the case of Phukan’s mysterious disappearance with Mathur, former special secretary of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), and officials from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) during one of the rounds of the ongoing dialogue in New Delhi on Monday.
“We have told IB officials and the interlocutor that there are rumours of the involvement of Indian intelligence agencies in Phukan’s kidnapping. We want to know his whereabouts,” The Times of India quoted Chetia said saying.
“The interlocutor told us that government of India does not see Phukan as an anti-national and is a known face for the central government for a long time since he has always been involved in initiating peace talks with ULFA. He denied that Indian intelligence agencies could be involved in his missing because he is not considered as an enemy of the state,” he added.
On Tuesday, Phukan’s son Kaushik also met top Union home ministry officials in New Delhi, seeking information about his father.
He said, “I have now decided to take the legal recourse…there is no positive response from anywhere. I am taking legal consultation and, in all likelihood, we will be moving Supreme Court next week.”
Phukan’s son said his father was actively trying to bring Paresh Baruah, the leader of the anti-talks ULFA(Independent), to the negotiating table. He suspects that his father might have been kidnapped by “people who do not want Baruah to join the peace process”.