Central Government calls for meeting on talks with ULFA

Thursday, January 28, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Central Government has called for a high-level meeting next month to discuss strategy for possible talks with the rebel United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).

Home Ministry officials said Union Home Minister P Chidambaram would chair the meeting. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and other top officials of the administration will also attend the meeting.

This step by the Centre is significant, as the entire top ULFA leadership apart from its military wing chief Paresh Barua is currently in jail.

The Centre has made it clear that it would hold talks with the ULFA only if they abjure violence and give up the demand for a separate State.

Jailed ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa has however, made it clear that there can be no talks with ‘handcuffs on’.

Rajkhowa said, “We have to be free. We want peace, but not in this way.”

Barua said:”We are ready for a dialogue provided sovereignty for Assam is discussed.”

The Centre had earlier in 2005 held three rounds of discussions with an ULFA-appointed peace panel, the People’s Consultative Group (PCG) with people drawn from the civil society to thrash out ways for talks to be resumed between ULFA and the government.

The ULFA-appointed PCG had also discussed the issue with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

But the efforts of the PCG had failed after the Centre refuted its certain demands that included talks on the issue of sovereignty. (ANI)

Filed under: India

Tags: ,
will not be displayed