On November 1, the Indian Army categorically dismissed allegations put forth by a former soldier turned ULFA (I) cadre, refuting claims that the security forces were exploiting young individuals. In a press statement, the Indian Army condemned the accusations as baseless and malicious attempts to tarnish its image.
The Army also shed light on the circumstances surrounding the ULFA (I) cadre’s transition to the banned militant organization. According to official records, Paban Neog had been recruited into the 166 Infantry Battalion Territorial Army (Home & Hearth) in Assam on May 1, 2017. The individual went on a 27-day Annual Leave in May 2023 but failed to return to his unit. As a result, he was declared a deserter in accordance with the applicable rules.
The Indian Army vehemently dismissed the claims made by the ex-serviceman turned ULFA (I) cadre regarding an alleged blast in Tinsukia’s Makum area. The cadre had implicated three of his former army colleagues, namely Hemanta Chetia, Krishna Moran, and Bhadrajit Moran, in the incident, attributing it to the ULFA (I) under the orders of the Dishah camp commander in Assam.
In response, the Army asserted that the allegations were completely baseless, emphasizing that no such blast had occurred in Tinsukia in May 2023, as suggested by Paban Neog.
Earlier reports had surfaced of a former army personnel joining the outlawed United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA (I)). In a video statement, the ULFA (I) cadre had accused security forces of exploiting young individuals for criminal activities, thereby tarnishing the reputation of the banned outfit.
Paban Neog, the ex-serviceman turned ULFA (I) cadre, shared his experiences and raised serious accusations against the security forces in Assam. He alleged that the Indian Army had instructed Assamese youths within the force to carry out fake explosions with the aim of defaming the ULFA (I). In light of his disagreements with his superiors, he chose to leave the army and joined the outfit in June 2023.
The Indian Army’s swift response aims to provide a counter-narrative to these allegations and uphold its reputation while addressing the claims made by the ULFA (I) cadre.