GUWAHATI: In a major blow to the banned outfit of ULFA (Independent), its Deputy Commander-in-Chief and lower Assam in charge Dhristi Rajkhowa and four other militants were caught in a joint operation in Meghalaya’s Bolbokgre village in South Garo Hills on Wednesday evening.
He is the second most important man after ULFA(I) chief Paresh Baruah in the banned outfit.
Meghalaya Police said, “He was on the run after narrowly escaping an encounter with commandos of the Meghalaya police on October 20 last.”
Sources said that after fleeing the Bolbokgre encounter in the Rongara area of South Garo Hills, he had tried to take refuge in Bangladesh but the security forces launched operations over there too.
Subsequently, he left Bangladesh and contacted his wife in Assam directing her to get in touch with a central intelligence agency which in turn got them contacted with the army for his subsequent surrender.
On Thursday, Meghalaya Police have handed him over to Assam Police who have multiple numbers of cases of extortion and gun-running against the dreaded militant leader.
“Rajkhowa has been handed over to Assam Police already,” said sources adding that he would be possibly brought to the city for further process and investigation on Thursday.
He has long been on the wanted list of ULFA (I) insurgents responsible for their militant activities in lower Assam. His apprehension was believed to be a major success of the counter-insurgency operations by the security forces in the region.
Rajkhowa, alias Manoj Rabha, is an RPG expert and is also a central committee member of the extremist group.
ULFA(I) chief Paresh Baruah promoted Rajkhowa to the position of deputy-commander-in-chief in November 2011.