Parag Das was editor-in-chief of ULFA’s mouthpiece ‘Swadhinata’, claims Anup Chetia

ULFA leader Anup Chetia speaking at a programme in Guwahati Press Club

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United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) general secretary Anup Chetia on Thursday claimed that radical journalist and human rights activist late Parag Kumar Das was the editor-in-chief of the outfit’s mouthpiece Swadhinata (Freedom).

Speaking at a memorial meet organised by Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (MASS), a human rights organisation of the state, at Guwahati Press Club here, pro-talk UKFA Chetia said that the responsibility of editor-in-chief of Swadhinata was given to journalist Das by the central committee of the rebel outfit.

He further claimed that the human rights organisation MASS was floated in a meeting at Karbi Anglong district organised by ULFA.

MASS was founded in 1991 by Parag Kr Das along with a group of intellectuals and senior journalists including Ajit Kumar Bhuyan.

Chetia has, however, faced a backlash on social media over his controversial statements.

Journalist Monorom Gogoi, who was a close associate of late Das, in a Facebook post, said that such comments are part of larger conspiracy hatched by vested interest to malign the image of the late journalist .

“Paragda slammed the violent activities unleashed by ULFA in strongest possible term. He also criticised ULFA’s alienation from masses. So such claims are nothing but fictitious,” Gogoi said in his post.

The family members of Das, who were present at the meeting, are also reportedly miffed at the ‘outrageous’ statements of Chetia.

Journalist Das was assassinated in broad daylight by four surrendered ULFA rebels on May 17, 1996. The murder of Das triggered massive public outrage in the state and the human rights circles of the country.

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