The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Nation | Meghalaya stage for Ulfa leader surrender Meghalaya stage for Ulfa leader surrender OUR BUREAU Dec. 4: Ulfa chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa and deputy commander-in-chief Raju Barua “surrendered” with their families at Dawki border checkpost in Meghalaya early today, the BSF said. The border force later handed over the Ulfa leaders and their families to Assam police who took custody of the group of 10 at Dawki at 3.30am and took them to Guwahati via Shillong under tight security. Hours after the “surrender”, Ulfa commander-in-chief Paresh Barua made an earnest appeal to Rajkhowa to make his “stand” clear, honouring the sacrifice made by 12,000 martyrs and the hopes and aspirations of the people of the state. In a statement purportedly issued by him to a section of the media this afternoon, Paresh Barua cautioned Rajkhowa against falling prey to the “evil designs” of the government, which, he said, was playing a dirty game in the name of talks. He claimed that Rajkhowa and Raju Barua, along with a few others, were in the Indian government’s custody since December 2, which matches the unofficial version of the “surrender”. According to this description, Rajkhowa was flown to Delhi on Wednesday from Tripura after being transported from Bangladesh by road. He has also spoken to the Centre’s negotiators, sticking to the demand for sovereignty. He also insisted on talking only to Delhi and not to the Assam government. Home ministry sources said Paresh Barua was in Myanmar’s Ka Chin province bordering China. Officials accused the militant leader of playing into the hands of the ISI and Chinese intelligence. Intercepts show Paresh Barua is constantly in touch with his contacts in Bangladesh and the Northeast. The Ulfa leaders will now remain in jail for a few weeks or till Rajkhowa and Barua outline a list of demands that is more acceptable to the Centre. After the surrender, they have little choice but to either remain in jail or find a face-saving compromise. As the Centre continues to hunt for Paresh Barua, Rajkhowa will be contacted by senior Assamese leaders to change his stand on sovereignty. “We are giving them time to think and reach a decision,” said a senior officer. To provide cover for today’s “surrender”, the border force is known to have carried out dummy operations in Tripura, Meghalaya and even Bengal. BSF public relations officer Ravi Gandhi claimed that the Ulfa leaders and their family members were first spotted by a BSF patrolling party after 1am today. “Our men at the Dawki border outpost asked them to surrender. They initially challenged the BSF but finally surrendered at 1.30am.” The BSF official said the group had crossed the Bangladesh border and was 15 metres inside when it was spotted. An intelligence official said Bangladesh security forces had detained the Ulfa leaders several days ago in that country and their security forces were just handing them over to the BSF at Dawki. Though the BSF is denying it, another intelligence official said Rajkhowa was flown to Delhi on Wednesday after being “pushed back” into Tripura by Bangladesh security forces. He was sent somewhere close to Dawki yesterday to complete the “surrender” story. Sources said Rajkhowa was flown down from Delhi “to the nearest landing facility” from where he was taken to the Dawki border checkpost. Here he joined Raju Barua and the others to stage the “surrender” in order to get the official seal of approval for entry into the country. Those who surrendered are Rajkhowa, his wife Kaveri Kachari Rajkonwar, 42, their daughter Khamchena B. Rajkonwar, 13, and son Gadadhar Rajkonwar, 5, Ulfa deputy commander-in-chief Raju Barua, his wife Nirola Neog, 30, their 10-month-old daughter Hemacheta, Rajkhowa’s bodyguard Raja Bora, jailed Ulfa foreign secretary Sasha Chaudhury’s wife Runima C. Choudhury Pallavi, 41, and their son Sisir A. Choudhury, 10.