New Delhi: Terror in Assam has a new identity and police say the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) which once used to be against Bangladeshi migrants has now joined hands with Bangladesh.
On October 30, four cities of Assam were rocked by 12 bomb blasts killing at least 88 people and injuring over 300 others.
Assam Police claim the blasts were carried out by a faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) led by Basumatary with the connivance of the ULFA.
Two of the Maruti 800s used in the blasts were bought by NDFB cadres just six weeks earlier.
"NDFB's ceasefire with the government is not going very well beacuse Government of India has deleted the word sovereignty from NDFB's demand. That is why NDFB is not happy and according to report there are two camps of NDFB in Bangladesh," says," says Nani G Mahanta, Conflict Studies, Gauhati University.
In 2003 a joint India-Bhutan military operation had flushed the Bodo militants out of the camps, followed by a ceasefire pact. But with the government yet to initiate peace talks the restive NDFB has chosen to restart its militant activities.
"Given the geopolitical linkage between Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh and the insurgent outfits operating through various camps located there. It is always found out that some kind of coordinated effort is taken in conducting an operation," Prasenjit Biswas, security expert, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, says.
Assam Police investigators clearly indicate the transformation of ULFA into a surrogate outfit of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami-Bangladesh.
Ironically, ULFA which grew out of the anti-Bangladeshi migrant agitation is now very much a terrorist outfit controlled by Bangladesh's Directorate General of Forces Intelligence and Pakistani ISI.
In fact security forces agree that ULFA and a few other radical organisations are now functioning under direct instructions from ISI and DGFI and the understandings and give and takes between terror groups has changed the character of violence in Assam, possibly forever.
And this change of violence, images of which led many to link it to car-bombings in Baghdad, is forcing investigators to look at groups and links functioning as surrogates of the ULFA.