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Centre rejects Ulfa B proviso
Published on 21 Sep. 2008 12:40 AM IST
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Centre has summarily rejected the possibility of disbanding the Unified Command, a condition set by the B Company of ULFA’S 28 battalion for it to come overground, reports Telegraph. Sources today said the Union home ministry has conveyed to Dispur its inability to accept the B Company’s demand. Chief minister Tarun Gogoi had raised the matter with Union home minister Shivraj Patil during his daylong visit to Assam recently. “Delhi has told us quite categorically that there would be no softening of its stand vis-à-vis militancy in the region. They (militant groups) have to first talk before any thought of cessation of operations by the security forces can be entertained,” a source said. The Centre has told Dispur that it was more than happy with the way the dice has rolled for the government in its fight against insurgency in the state in recent times and was, therefore, in no mood to upset the applecart at this juncture. “Obviously, Delhi is rather pleased with the A and C companies of the Ulfa coming overground and does not want to create a situation which could even remotely disturb the equilibrium by allowing, for instance, yet another regrouping,” the source said. A senior police officer posted in the 28 battalion’s backyard in Upper Assam, however, said conceding to the B company’s demand to a “restricted extent” could have been worth a try. He suggested that the army be kept on a leash for some time, as the B company leaders were more wary of the men in olive than those in khaki. “There is no need to entirely disband the Unified Command,” he said. Some leaders of the B company, including its commander, Bijoy Chinese, had initially decided to join the peace process along with those of the A and C companies, but changed their mind at the last moment when 10 of their members died in army operations. The B company leaders and cadres have since been holed up in camps run by the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) in Myanmar. Dispur, however, has initiated steps to instil confidence in the leadership of the pro-peace companies of the 28 battalion, the source said. Director general of police R.N. Mathur and inspector general of police (law and order) Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta today visited the designated camps of Ulfa’s pro-peace group at Kakopathar in Tinsukia district. The pro-peace leadership had threatened to call off the truce if the army continued its “fake” encounters, one of which, they claimed, had killed Ulfa leader Sasanka Baruah on September 12 at Dirok in Tinsukia along the Assam-Arunachal border. “The DGP had an informal meeting with Prabal Neog and Mrinal Hazarika and asked if everything was running smoothly,” a source said. Mathur also “brought up” the topic of how the B company could be won over to the peace fold, a source said.

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