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ULFA to talk if jailed leaders released
Guwahati, Jan 9 (IANS):
Published on 10 Jan. 2010 12:11 AM IST
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The outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) Saturday said it was ready to hold peace talks with New Delhi only if its jailed leaders were freed. “Talks, if any, cannot be held from the prison cell. If the jailed leaders are released, the peace process could begin,” ULFA vice chairman Pradeep Gogoi told journalists while being brought to the Guwahati Medical College Hospital for a health check-up. Gogoi and seven other ULFA top leaders are in prison. The others include chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, deputy commader-in-chief Raju Baruah, self-styled foreign secretary Sasha Chouhdury, finance secretary Chitraban Hazarika, publicity chief Mithinga Daimary, cultural secretary Pranati Deka and the senior-most 70-year-old leader Bhimkanta Buragohain. Buragohain is presently lodged at the Tezpur jail in northern Assam, while the other seven rebel leaders are at the Guwahati Central Jail. “The last few days we have been talking about various possibilities for furthering the peace process. It all depends on the government’s sincerity,” the ULFA leader said. Meanwhile, the ULFA demanded the Assam Rifles Director General K S Yadav prove that it had recruited Bangladeshis to the outfit. “Yadav’s allegation is baseless and we dare him to prove the presence of a single Bangladeshi in our outfit,” ULFA Publicity in-charge Anu Buragohain told two local television channels over phone from an undisclosed location. Yadav had said that 50 per cent of ULFA’s lower rung leaders were Bangladeshis.

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