Arabinda Rajkhowa

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Arabinda Rajkhowa
Born Rajib Rajkonwar
1956
Ujoni Konwargaon,
Sibsagar, Assam
Other names Mijanur Rahman Choudhury
Criminal charge
Waging war against India, Abduction, murder, commission of terrorist acts and disruptive acts.[1]
Criminal status Arrested
Spouse(s) Kaveri Kachari[2][3]
Children Kanchan Bohagi Rajkonwar (Daughter)
Gadadhar (Son)[3]
Parents Umakanta Rajkonwar (Father)[4][5]
Damayanti Rajkonwar (Mother)[1][6]

Arabinda Rajkhowa (Assamese: (real name Rajiv Rajkonwar), alias Mijanur Rahman Choudhury is the Chairman of the banned group ULFA. He is one of the founder members of the group.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9] He was also the Vice-President of the Indo-Burma Revolutionary Front.[10] He was a leader of the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), a radical students' group in Assam, before he founded ULFA.[3]

Personal life[edit]

He was born to freedom fighter Umakanta Rajkonwar and Damayanti Rajkonwar, ardent followers of Mahatma Gandhi,[1][3][4][5][9] in 1956 in Ujani Konwargaon under Simaluguri in Sibsagar. By profession, he was a schoolteacher. He is said to be a soft-spoken and is fluent in nearly half a dozen languages.[10]

In the late 1990s, Rajkhowa married Kaveri Kachari, a budding poet of that time. They had to spend the initial days of their marriage in jungles of Assam and Bhutan. They have two children[9] Kanchan Bohagi Rajkonwar (Daughter) and Gadadhar (Son).[3]

Arrest[edit]

On late Monday night, 30 November 2009, Bangladesh Police arrested Rajkhowa somewhere near Dhaka. He has been handed over to the Indian authorities.[4][5][11][12] Meanwhile, according to North East TV channel, ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa claimed that reports of his arrest were aimed at creating confusion and derailing the peace process in Assam. "I am speaking to you from the same location in Bangladesh where I normally speak from. Those who say that I have been arrested are deliberately trying to create confusion. They want to derail the peace process in Assam even before it can begin," he reportedly told North East TV channel. But intelligence sources claim Rajkhowa had surrendered to Indian security forces in Agartala and was taken to New Delhi by a flight on late Wednesday.[13] On December 5, 2009, Rajkhowa along with his bodyguard Raja Baruah and the group's deputy C-in-C[clarification needed] Raju Baruah were produced before Robin Phukan, the chief judicial magistrate, Kamrup.[12]

Public reactions and surrender[edit]

Rajkhowa rubbished police's claim that they had surrendered. “We have not surrendered, we will never surrender", he cleared his stand as they were produced in court before Robin Phukan, the chief judicial magistrate, Kamrup. They emerged as heroes among the crowd for having denied their surrender. They got the biggest boost when public encouraged them not to surrender shouting - "Surrender nokoribo" (Do not surrender). The leader obliged the crowd saying "surrender nokoru moi (I will never surrender)”. “If I would have surrendered then I would not have been brought to the court handcuffed,” he said. The crowd filled up the air with slogans like "ULFA Zindabad" and "Rajkhowa Zindabad" (Long live ULFA & Long live Rajkhowa) the moment they appeared in the court premise.[12]

Release[edit]

Rajkhowa was released on bail from the Guwahati Central Jail on 1 January 2011. He was granted bail by a special TADA court Thursday after the government prosecutor gave no objection to Rajkhowa's bail petition. After his release he said that they were ready for unconditional peace talks with the government, but a formal decision to this effect could be taken at their executive meeting once all jailed leaders are released.

Although wife Kaveri and their two children were captured along with him, police had let off his family with no charges slapped against them. Rajkhowa's family has since been settled in his ancestral home in Lakwa in eastern Assam's Sivasagar district.[14]

Family[edit]

Rajkhowa's family consists of his wife Kaberi Kachari, 13-year-old daughter Kanchan Bohagi Rajkonwar and 5-year-old son Gadadhar. His family members had also been caught although they were set free since no pending cases were there against them.[3]

Rajkhowa's elder brother Ajay Rajkonwar reportedly told that he wants to take custody of his brother's family so that their 97-year-old mother could meet them. "We are ready to take custody of Kaveri and the two children -- 13-year-old daughter and five-year-old son -- and take them to our mother at Lakwa in Sibsagar. If Kaveri wants to stay back for the group's organisational work, we have nothing to say," he said to reporters.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Most Wanted". Assam Police. Archived from the original on 12 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  2. ^ "Top ULFA leaders produced in court, in police remand". The Sentinel. November 7, 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "ULFA Chief Rajkhowa, Raju Baruah to be produced before Court". News4u. December 5, 2009. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d Kashyap, Samudra Gupta (December 2, 2009). "ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa arrested in Bangladesh". Expressindia.com. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d "ULFA chief held in Bangladesh; deportation likely". Zeenews.com. December 2, 2009. Archived from the original on 3 December 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c PTI (December 6, 2009). "Arabinda Rajkhowa's brother wants to take custody of wife and children". DNA India. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  7. ^ Kaleem, Javed Iqbal (2008-02-11). "Ang ang Bharat ka toot raha hain". Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  8. ^ "United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) - Terrorist Group of Assam". Archived from the original on 17 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  9. ^ a b c Hussain, Syed Zarir (3 December 2009). "Rajkhowa: One of India's most wanted". Express buzz. Retrieved 9 December 2009. 
  10. ^ a b "Who’s afraid of the ULFA?". Indianexpress.com. 2007-01-13. Retrieved 2009-10-12. 
  11. ^ "ULFA's Rajkhowa arrested in Bangladesh, say sources". Hindustantimes.com. December 2, 2009. Archived from the original on 5 December 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  12. ^ a b c Staff Reporter (December 6, 2009). "Support makes duo defiant- Crowd turns Ulfa rebels into heroes". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 December 2009. 
  13. ^ "Rajkhowa says reports of his arrest aimed at derailing peace". New Delhi: Press Trust Of India. December 3, 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  14. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/ULFA-chairman-Rajkhowa-released-from-jail-/articleshow/7199918.cms#ixzz19mBFflUF ULFA chairman Rajkhowa released from jail - The Times of India