This Article is From Jan 30, 2020

Assam To Pursue Centre To 'Engage' Paresh Barua-Led Anti-Talk ULFA In Peace Process

The Assam government wants the centre to "take cognizance" of ULFA under the commander in chief Paresh Baruah's "willingness" to talk, top government official said.

Assam To Pursue Centre To 'Engage' Paresh Barua-Led Anti-Talk ULFA In Peace Process

Paresh Baruah on Tuesday said that it will come for talks if 'sovereignty' is made agenda of discussion.

Guwahati:

After the Bodo peace deal, the centre will now try and fast track the ULFA peace deal. The Assam government is soon going to discuss the status of the ULFA peace talks, which are believed to be in a very advanced stage, Assam cabinet minister Himanta Biswa Sarma indicated.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will discuss with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on February 7 the matter of talks with proscribed militant outfit anti-talk faction of ULFA, Mr Sarma added.

This comes close on the heels of last Tuesday's appeal by the Assam government to anti-talk faction of the ULFA which is also known as ULFA (Independent) under the commander in chief Paresh Baruah to emulate the footsteps of Bodo outfits and come for peace talks for lasting peace in Assam.

Later, Mr Baruah had called an Assamese news channel on Tuesday said that it will come for talks if 'sovereignty' is made agenda of discussion.

The Assam government wants the centre to "take cognizance" of Mr Baruah's "willingness" to talk, said another top government official.

"On February 7 we have extended invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for celebration rally in Kokrajhar. I and chief minister will be informing the Prime Minister and Home Minister about Baruah's stand and we will put forward his views to the centre," Mr Sarma told the same TV channel that interviewed him over the phone from an undisclosed location.

In is not for the first time that ULFA and the centre are trying to talk peace.

In 2005, ULFA had formed Peoples Consultative Group (PCG) to discuss peace with the government of India. It was the UPA-I regime and the then PM Manmohan Singh had taken the initiative and there were several rounds of discussion before ULFA pulled out.

This time the situation is different as the pro-talk faction of ULFA led by Anup Chetia is already involved in talks with the centre and it has reached an advanced stage.

The Assam government feels that only if Paresh Baruah joins the process, it can be a "comprehensive" and "conclusive" deal, official sources further added.