The huge cache of arms and ammunitions recovered in the jungles of Bangladesh's bordering Satchhari National Park in Habiganj belonged to Ulfa leader Paresh Barua, Indian newspaper Anandabazar reported today.
Information gleaned by Indian intelligence agencies from Ranjit Dev Barma, a leader of separatist group All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF), and provided to Bangladesh government led to the recovery of the ammo three kilometers off the border, the report added.
The Times of India on February 3 this year reported the Chief of Indian separatist group United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) Paresh Barua, who faces death penalty in Bangladesh in connection with 10-truck arms smuggling, was now living in China.
Quoting intelligence sources TOI reported that Barua is now living in Rui Li town of China.
According to sources, Barua has been living in the Chinese town, possibly with a woman friend, for the past two years. His wife and two sons live in Bangladesh, the newspaper added.
A Chittagong court in January awarded death penalty to 14 people including the Ulfa chief for smuggling in 10-truck arms in Bangladesh in 2004.
Talking to The Daily Star, Bangladesh State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal however said that the haul was based on the intelligence collected by the local agencies.
The Anandabazar report also mentioned that Habibur Rahman of legal and media wing of elite force Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), which recovered the arms, declined to accept that they conducted the raid on the basis of information from Indian agencies.
Information that arms and ammunition can be found in the area were coming from different sources and the raids were conducted on the basis of that intelligence, Rahman told the Bangla daily.
Rab personnel recovered a rocket launcher, 192 rocket shells, 153 chargers, four machine guns, five barrels of machine guns, 1,300 rounds of machine gun ammunition and 11,667 bullets of different guns from two of the nine bunkers they discovered in the forest since beginning of the drive on Sunday.
On receiving information about the arms cache from Ranjit, Indian intelligence officials communicated with Bangladesh government several times, according to the Anandabazar report. But police did not find anything despite several raids, it added.
"Indian intelligence officials recently sent some specific information on arms cache," it said.
According to the report, the arms which Ulfa leader Paresh Barua smuggled weapons from China were kept in the Satchhari forest and were sent to Indian militants in opportune moments.