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Last Updated: Monday, 5 January, 2004, 16:12 GMT
Captured rebel: India tortured me
Bhimkanta Buragohain
Ulfa founder Bhimkanta Buragohain appearing in Indian custody
The founder of a separatist rebel army from north-eastern India says he was tortured after his capture last month.

Bhimkanta Buragohain, the 68-year-old leader of the United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa), was paraded by Indian troops on 26 December.

He told journalists on Monday that the army had forced him to broadcast a surrender appeal to his rebel comrades.

Ulfa lost many bases in neighbouring Bhutan after the kingdom's troops attacked the rebels last month.

Soldiers from the Royal Bhutanese Army destroyed almost all of the 30 rebel bases on the kingdom's territory, according to Bhutanese officials.

The camps were said to have provided cover to about 3,000 rebels, who used them to mount attacks on Indian troops in the state of Assam.

Torture allegation denied

Mr Buragohain, who was earlier reported to have been killed in the clashes, was captured by Bhutanese soldiers and handed over to the Indian army.

He was remanded in custody in the Assam state capital, Guwahati, on Monday.

Speaking to journalists as he was being led away from court, Mr Buragohain said he was suffering bleeding and ankle and chest pains as a result of torture by Indian and Bhutanese authorities.

He said he would never call for the surrender of Ulfa rebels, who have been fighting Indian rule in Assam since 1979.

An Indian army spokesman denied Mr Buragohain's torture allegations.

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03 Dec 03  |  Country profiles

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