The chief of the ‘western command’ of terror outfit ULFA (Independent) died in lower Assam’s Bongaigaon district following an encounter with state police in the early hours of Thursday (29 April).
Dwipen Saud alias Ramen Nath alias Jishnu Asom, who was appointed ‘commander’ of the outfit’s ‘western command’ recently, was reportedly killed by police at Besimara under Manikpur police station in Bongaigaon district.
Saud, along with his bodyguard Podum Ray, were hiding in the house of one Kishore Ray, an auto-rickshaw driver. Bongaigaon police chief Subodh Kumar Sonowal said that after receiving a tip-off on Wednesday night, a strong police contingent laid a cordon around the house.
The police then asked Saud to surrender, but the latter reportedly opened fire. In the exchange of fire that followed, Saud received fatal injuries below his chin and was declared ‘brought dead’ at Bongaigaon Civil Hospital, about 50 kilometres away from the encounter site.
Saud had recently replaced Drishti Rajkhowa, who surrendered in November last year. Rajkhowa was being pursued by joint teams of the Indian Army and Assam Police in Meghalaya’s Garo Hills where he had taken shelter.
He surrendered once he realised he would not be able to escape the cordon laid by security forces. ULFA(I) chief Paresh Barua, who is said to be holed up in China’s Yunnan province, had said that Rajkhowa was planning to take his own life but he (Barua) advised him to surrender since he (Rajkhowa) had an ailing wife and two small children.
The Bongaigaon police arrested Saud’s bodyguard Podum Ray and autorickshaw driver Kishore Ray. Kishore’s wife told reporters that Saud had taken his own life by shooting himself.
Some media reports said that Saud had a bullet wound below his chin and an exit wound above his forehead.
Police recovered a hand grenade, two pistols, mobile phones and Rs 35,000 in cash from the encounter site.
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