Top ULFA (I) leader surrenders along with 4 others

New Delhi, November 12 (IANS): A top leader of a banned insurgent group ULFA (I) Drishti Rajkhowa along with four others surrendered before the Indian Army in Meghalaya. Rajkhowa is believed to be a close confidant of Paresh Baruah, the self declared 'commander-in-chief' of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) -- ULFA (I).

The four other accomplices are identified as S.S. Corporal Vedanta, Yasin Asom, Ropjyoti Asom and Mithun Asom. They surrendered, with a huge quantity of arms.

They surrendered after a brief encounter near Bolbogkre village in South Garo Hills.

Indian Army stated that it was a swift and well planned operation carried out by the Indian Army Intelligence Agencies at the Meghalaya-Assam- Bangladesh Border. Rajkhowa had been crossing the India-Bangladesh border frequently and has managed to give slip to security forces several times.

He was spotted around Jaflong in Bangladesh. Pakistan defence attache in Dhaka Brigadier Ejaz has been setting up meetings with rebel leaders from the Northeast in recent months.

"The operation was based on confirmed inputs, which was a result of the relentless pursuit over the last nine month," Indian Army said.

Drishti Rajkhowa has long been in the wanted list of the ULFA insurgents responsible for their activities in lower Assam.

His surrender is a major blow to the underground organisation and heralds a new dawn ushering in peace in the region.