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Youths joining ULFA (I) not a new trend: Himanta

GUWAHATI: Assam minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday belittled the reported trend of an increasing number of youths joining ULFA (I), saying that the development is “nothing new”.

Speaking to reporters here on Wednesday, Sarma said that every year, around 150-200 youths from Assam join the militant outfit.

“This is not a new development but has been going on for since long. The fact that ULFA (I) chief Paresh Baruah’s nephew has joined the outfit too is not a surprise because if his relative doesn’t join the outfit then who will,” said Sarma.

The minister also added that only three youths have so far reportedly joined the militant outfit.

Asked about a reaction on former chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s comment that many youths have joined ULFA-I under the BJP government in Assam, the minister rebutted by saying, “If the persons arrested as ULFA (I) cadre during Tarun Gogoi’s tenure were fake, then an FIR should be lodged against him (Gogoi).”

Meanwhile, the Assam BJP released the party’s manifesto for the Panchayat elections here on Wednesday in the presence of Sarma, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and state BJP president, Ranjit Kumar Dass.

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