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Delhi appoints interlocutor for DHD (J), UDPS, NDFB
Published on 1 Nov. 2009 12:30 AM IST
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Former intelligence bureau (IB) director P.C. Haldar has been appointed interlocutor for talks with three Northeast militant outfits — Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel), United People’s Democratic Solidarity and the pro-talks faction of National Democratic Front of Boroland. Home minister P. Chidambaram Friday made the announcement and said the Assam government would be kept in the loop when the Centre’s interlocutor negotiates with the outfits, The Telegraph on Saturday reported. The home minister said that following the decision of the DHD (J) to lay down arms and move its cadres into designated camps, the stage had been set to hold talks with the outfits. Haldar is a 1970-batch Bihar cadre IPS officer. The terror attacks in Mumbai, Jaipur, Bangalore and elsewhere in India were carried out during his tenure as director of IB. The announcement comes close on heels of the appointment last week of Lt Gen. (retd) Vijay Madan as interlocutor for holding talks with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM). Apparently, the government is sending a message to the militant outfits of the Northeast that if they lay down arms, Delhi will take the extra step to initiate a dialogue. UPDS was formed in March 1999 to fight for Karbi people’s rights and despite talks since 2004, the problems remain unresolved. The NDFB is engaged in talks while another faction, led by Ranjan Daimary, is still using guns to destabilise the Bodo areas. Co-opting the three outfits with help of an institutional mechanism and streamlining the peace processes may yield dividends in tackling the anti-peace talks factions or, in the case of DHD, help in reconciling differences among the Dimasa outfits. The faction led by Dilip Nunisa is engaged in a dialogue with the Centre. The involvement of an interlocutor for holding talks with outfits of the Northeast first came more than a decade ago when Swaraj Kaushal mediated between the Centre and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM). Later, former home secretary, K. Padmanabhaiah, handled the same job. He was relieved of the task from September this year. Padmanabhaiah had liaised with the NSCN (IM) for years and even though the peace talks continued, no breakthrough could be achieved. With Haldar’s entry, the government hopes to keep tabs on the Assam outfits and take forward the talks in the form of a political dialogue. DHD (J), one of the most notorious outfits in the region, has laid down arms and the government does not want to leave any space open for a reversal of a hard-earned bargain. Home secretary G.K. Pillai had visited Guwahati on October 9 and chaired a meeting of state home secretaries and state intelligence chiefs of the northeastern states. Pillai had also visited Kohima, Nagaland on October 13-14 and interacted with the powerful civil society in the state.

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