United Liberation Front of Barak Valley (ULFBV) - Terrorist Group of Assam
The United Liberation Front of Barak Valley (ULFBV) was reportedly formed in the year 2002.
The ULFBV was formed with the purported objective of creating a separate homeland for the tribal population in the Karimganj and Hailakandi districts of Assam.
Leadership and Area of Operation
Not much is known about the leadership structure. The outfit’s ‘commander in chief’ Pancharam Reang and his bodyguard, Dulal Singh Reang, were arrested on September 2, 2003, in the Karbi Anglong district of Assam. The outfit has an estimated strength of 50 cadres, all of whom are tribals.
The Karimganj and Hailakandi districts remain the area of operations of the outfit. After formation, the outfit is reported to have planned to organize a series of strikes on the soft targets in both the districts. It also had prepared a plan to abduct civilians for ransom.
Linkages and Activities
The interrogation of the ULFBV ‘commander in chief’ revealed that the outfit’s attempt to have a nexus with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim-Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM) in Nagaland for arms fell through after the latter reportedly demanded an ‘exorbitant price’. Later, the ULFBV is also reported to have attempted procuring arms from Bangladesh. At present, the outfit is known to have two AK-47 rifles, three 9mm pistols and about 40 country made guns in its possession.
According to official sources, two ULFBV cadres were killed in the year 2002.
September 24: Claiming responsibility of the deadly attack on the managerial staff of Dullavcherra Tea Estate that left two employees dead on the spot, the Reang militant outfit United Democratic Liberation Front Army (UDLA) on September 24 threatened that they would continue such attack until the garden management pays INR 1.5 million as demanded by them. Claiming that the UDLA ‘chief’ Shishumoni Reang was at present in Bangladesh, Rajesh Reang ‘commander’ of the outfit said, they had been collecting money from various tea gardens in Karimganj and South Hailakandi. UDLA, a break away faction of ULFBV, had at present 250 cadres. UDLA headquarters was in Bangladesh and they had close link with the Naga militants.
February 26: Reports indicate that a new outfit with both Muslim and Reang militants had been formed. Some local sources said a splinter group of Atabur Bahini led by Abdul Salem had formed a new outfit called the United Revolutionary Army of Barak Valley with the help of some Reang tribals. It is to be noted that militancy in the south Hailakandi, which shares its border with Mizoram, was started by Panchuram Reang who formed ULFBV outfit. Panchuram later surrendered to the State Government and subsequently joined the Congress. But militancy did not come to a halt with his surrender and another Reang outfit was formed by Dhanyaram Reang, once a cadre of Panchuram. Atabur, joined the UDLA, the outfit Dhanyaram had formed. In 2009, Dhanyaram, along with his wife was arrested in Mizoram. Meanwhile, in the backdrop of a series of kidnapping, in maximum cases Muslims being the victims, relation between the Reang and Muslims started to sour. A group of Reang youths, once associated with Panchuram's outfit, were mercilessly assaulted by villagers. Panchuram squarely blamed the Muslims for the incidents and subsequently.
February 17: An unnamed spokesman of the newly formed outfit United Democratic Liberation Front of Barak Valley (UDLFBV) claimed that "Reangs are not involved in the kidnapping of forest guard Nizamuddin Majumdar." He said that it might be the handiwork of Atabur Bahini, a gang of goons operating along the Assam-Mizoram border of South Hailakandi. The forest guard was abducted at gun-point on February 13 and abductors demanded INR one million and 10 sets of cellular phones from his family members. Sources said they were speaking in broken Bengali language and it was assumed that they might belong to the Reang community. The report adds that UDLFBV had recently come up after the Panchram Apeto led ULFBV surrendered before the Assam Government in September 2008 while another Reang outfit United Democratic Liberation Army (UDLA) almost perished following the arrest of its leader Dhanyanram Reang. The report also mentioned that Dhanyaram's erstwhile accomplice Atabur formed his own group Atabur Bahini, which has increased its activities in the region.
October 24: Altogether 305 surrendered cadres of the ULFBV joined the District Congress Committee of Hailakandi.
September 30: A total of 305 armed militants of the ULFBV led by its ‘president’ Pancharam Apeto, surrendered at the ITA Cultural Complex in Guwahati in the presence of Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and top police and Army authorities. The militants also laid down arms and ammunition, including three AK-47 rifles, an M-16 rifle, 60 .12 guns, four grenades, two mortar cells and 158 rounds of AK series ammunition.
September 23: Leaders and cadres of the ULFBV would surrender with arms and ammunition in Guwahati on September 30. An elaborate arrangement including terms and conditions of the surrender has been finalized for the occasion from the Government’s side.
Note:Compiled from news reports and are provisional.