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Baruah anti-Assam: Home secretary
Published on 13 Dec. 2009 12:34 AM IST
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Union Home Secretary G K Pillai on Saturday asked United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) leader Paresh Baruah, to understand the reality of Assam and stop working against the interests of the state. Addressing the media in Jammu, Pillai said: “He (Paresh Burva) has quiet discredited himself. He is staying in Bangladesh and literally acting against the interests of his own state (Assam).” “So, he will have to understand the reality of Assam, once he understands that reality, I think he will then realize that it is better to come for talks than to sit in the jungle and kill innocent people,” Pillai added. Earlier in the month, ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, who was underground for nearly two decade, was arrested in Bangladesh, reported ANI. On the other hand, in Guwahati, the newly appointed Assam Governor J B Patnaik asked ULFA to come forward for talks without any condition. “Union home minister P Chidambaram and chief minister Tarun Gogoi have already invited them for talks. I believe in non-violence and they should come for peaceful talks without any pre-conditions,” Patnaik said. “Any group of people who make a demand, they have to eschew violence. Our democracy does not allow violence. Every reasonable demand can be achieved within the framework of Constitution and through peaceful means,” he added. Meanwhile, the ULFA has appealed to Awami League government to stop its ongoing crackdown against the insurgent organisations of northeastern India. “A party like the Awami League, which fought for Bangladesh’s freedom, should try and understand our passion for independence. We are fighting against Indian colonialism much the same way they fought against colonialism of Pakistan,” the ULFA ‘commander-in-chief’ Paresh Barua said in a statement e-mailed to online newspaper in Dhaka. Four other insurgent outfits of the troubled region—the outlawed Manipur People’s Liberation Front (MPLF), National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF)--have also echoed the ULFA. “We know that the spirit of freedom has always prevailed, even against the strongest power on earth. “And we believe that in the spirit of freedom the people of Bangladesh will have sympathy and support for our liberation struggle transcending their government’s contrary policies,” they said in the joint statement with ULFA. The ULFA has been pursuing an armed struggle since 1979 with the professed objective of liberating the hydrocarbon-rich northeastern Indian state of Assam from what they term as New Delhi’s ‘colonial rule’. Thousands have died during its insurgent campaign. Barua heads the armed wing of the outlawed organisation. The NDFB too is fighting for an independent homeland for two million Bodos, who live in parts of western Assam and are among the early settlers of the state. The MPLF is a conglomeration of three secessionist rebel organisations of another northeastern Indian state Manipur. The NLFT and ATTF are also fighting against the Indian government with the objective of liberating Tripura from colonial rule of India. “The people of northeast India wholeheartedly supported the Bangladesh liberation war, so why should Bangladesh not support our struggle,” Barua asked in the communiqué from an undisclosed location. The ULFA military chief’s appeal to the Awami League government came a week after New Delhi announced the arrest of the outfit’s chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa by the Border Security Force (BSF) near the India-Bangladesh border at Dawki in northeastern Indian state of Meghalaya. Raju Barua, the deputy commander-in-chief of ULFA’s armed wing,was also arrested along with Rajkhowa on December 4 last Sources in the Indian government’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), however, had said that Rajkhowa had been picked up from somewhere in Bangladesh and was unofficially handed over to the BSF. Dhaka has categorically denied that Rajkhowa was detained in Bangladesh. But Rajkhowa, himself, indicated that he had been arrested in Bangladesh. “Bangladesh has betrayed us (ULFA),” he had told journalists when produced in a court in Guwahati, the capital of Assam, on December 5.

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