No clue to Rebati Phukan, says top cop

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, May 13: The police found no clue on the whereabouts of former People’s Consultative Group (PCG) member and mediator of ULFA-Govt talks, Rebati Phukan, even as Assam Police director general Kuladhar Saikia is supervising all operations to trace him out.

Phukan, a former footballer and childhood friend of ULFA (I) chief Paresh Barua, went missing from his rented house at Ambikagiri Nagar in Guwahati on April 22. Phukan had gone for his morning walk but didn’t return home.

He returned from visiting his daughter in Pune on April 19. For the last few months, he was not keeping well. Some time ago, he had a surgery too.

“A probe headed by DGP Kuladhar Saikia is being conducted to trace Phukan. The City Police Commissioner also looking into the matter,” special DGP Pallab Bhattacharyya told reporters on the side-lines of a programme here on Sunday.

On April 26, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal had directed the police to find out the whereabouts of Phukan. Earlier Phukan’s son, Kaushik Phukan, told reporters that his father could have become “a victim” for his efforts to bring Barua to the negotiation table.

“My father has been trying to facilitate talks between ULFA and the government for a long time. He had visited Bangladesh, China and Myanmar between 2007 and 2015 and met Barua towards this end. For the past three months, he had been working on the clauses of a document which would have been acceptable to the ULFA (I) leader to initiate negotiations,” he said.

Phukan’s family members alleged that he might be kidnapped by the sleuths of intelligence agency as he was in close contact with ULFA (I) c-in-c Baruah. Pro-talk ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa on Wednesday visted the residence of Phukan in Guwahati.

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