For over quarter of a century Paresh Barua has eluded the Indian army and the police. A key player in the birth of the UNLFWSEA and the recent offensive against the Indian army, the self-styled ‘commander-in-chief’ of the outlawed ULFA enjoys a close rapport with NSCN(K) chairman S.S. Khaplang. He told Rajeev Bhattacharya in a telephone conversation on May 6 that all “anti-India groups” would get together to form a government-in-exile. Excerpts from the conversation:
When I met you in Myanmar in 2011 you said that a joint forum would be formed soon. But it has clearly taken much longer.
Indian intelligence agencies came to know about what we were planning. We have been able to identify the people and agencies working against us. It took time and effort.
What purpose will this joint forum serve?
You saw our statement, the United National Liberation Front of Western South East Asia will take the struggle to a higher level. There will be a constitution, a flag and campaigns on a global scale will be stepped up.
This is the fourth initiative by separatist groups from the Northeast to stitch up an alliance. All the earlier attempts for a joint front had failed. What makes you think that it will be any different this time?
There is realisation that our movement has not been able to achieve much since Angami Phizo raised the banner of revolt. That is why all groups felt the urge to come together. When you visited our camps, you saw how the groups live and work together. Is there still any doubts over our unity?
What are the forum’s immediate plans?
We will strike wherever and whenever possible. We also hope to be able to form a government-in-exile by the end of this year.
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