Railways Sacks Ulfa Chief

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Ulfa commander-in-chief Paresh Barua is ‘jobless’. The North East Frontier Railways (NFR), which recruited Barua in 1978 as a porter on a salary of Rs 370 a month, has finally sacked the top militant after he went AWOL in January 1980, eight months after the Ulfa was formed. NFR authorities claim they hadn’t noticed Barua’s “unauthorised absence” these past three decades, but privately admit that no one could muster the courage to ini­tiate disciplinary proceedings against the Ulfa military chief. It was only when local papers highlighted this that an embarrassed NFR was forced to act.