The Special Task Force (STF) has arrested a militant
of the outlawed Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO)
from the Indo-Nepal border near Siliguri, prompting
observers to state that the KLO might be planning to
regroup its organisation in the neighbouring country.
Dhan Kumar Barman, alias Swapan, 26, a resident of
Cooch Behar district, was picked up by the police when he
was going to Nepal through Debiganj where, police said
he planned to take shelter and extort businessmen.
“A yellow notebook was recovered from his possession,” a
police source said today.
Barman ,who has been booked under charges of the
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), various
sections of the Indian Penal Code, including sedition,
waging war against the state, had received arms training
from the National Socialist Council of Nagaland
(Khaplang-Yung Aung) in Nagaland, sources said.
“The STF has arrested one KLO ultra Dhan Kumar
Barman of Cooch Behar. Acting on intelligence inputs, we
arrested him from the Bhadrapur border when he was
going to Nepal on Sunday evening,” said the deputy
superintendent of the STF, headquarters, in Siliguri, Sudip
Preliminary investigations have revealed that a resident of
Bakshirhat in Cooch Behar, Barman had left his studies
midway in the second year of college and associated
himself with the Kamtapur People’s Party (United) in 2020.
“He later joined Kamtapur Democratic Party, a little-known
outfit active in Tufanganj and Bakshirhat. However, he
moved to Assam a few months ago and came in touch
with the KLO there and maintained close relationship with
self-styled KLO chief Jeevan Singha. The NSCN (K-YA)
had trained Barman and some others in Nagaland. He
was going to Nepal from Assam to rejuvenate the KLO,
according to instructions from Jeevan Singha,” the source
According to intelligence sources, Yung Aung (YA) took
over the NSCN (K) following the death of its patriarch
Shangnyu Shangwang Khaplang in June 2017.
The ministry of home affairs had declared KLO as a
‘terrorist organisation’ under the UAPA on 31 October,
The sources added that the STF had been trying to trace
Barman following the arrest of two KLO militants, Mrinal
Barman alias Joshi and Abinash Roy alias Jacky alias
Koch in February.
“There was a group of around 28 militants, including
Mrinal Barman, Abinash Roy and Barman. The STF had
arrested the duo in February and came to know about
Barman. The recent developments hint that the KLO is
trying to regroup in Nepal and Assam as a strong force.
Inputs from intelligence agencies have suggested that
attempts were made to extort funds and procure arms to
revive the organisation,” the sources said.
It is learnt that Barman’s father Sukumar Barman had
been arrested as a KLO linkman when the group was
active in early 2000 in north Bengal.
The sources at the intelligence agencies suggested that
the KLO had been trying to operate its activities from
Eastern Nepal for a long time.
“KLO top guns Tom Adhikary aka Joydev Roy, the vice
chairman, Manchalal Singha alias Nilambar Rajbanshi
alias Doctor, the finance secretary, Abhijit Singha alias
Apple and others had taken shelter in Nepal. Tom had
provided arms training there. The special operations group
of police had nabbed them in February 2014. It appears that the KLO is trying to establish its network again there,”
the sources said.
The KLO, which was formed by a group of Rajbanshi
youths in 1995, resorted to armed struggle for a separate
Kamtapur state, comprising north Bengal districts, and
also some districts of lower Assam and Bihar.
The organisation became inactive after the Royal Bhutan
Army carried out operation Flush Out against Northeast
militant outfits in Bhutan in 2003. Most of the top guns
were arrested then. However, Singha alias Tamir Das
managed to flee. Several charges, including those under
the UAPA, are pending against him. Singha resurfaced a
few months ago with video messages, renewing the
demand for a separate state.