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ULFA to hold talks if New Delhi is sincere
Guwahati, April 11 (IANS)
Published on 12 Apr. 2010 1:03 AM IST
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The newly floated Citizens Forum in Assam Sunday claimed the top leadership of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), including its elusive commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah, would come for peace talks if New Delhi was sincere in holding such negotiations.
The eleven-member forum of writers, former police officials, academics, and rights activists, was formed last week to help broker peace between the ULFA and the government.
“We have got some informal feelers from the ULFA leadership that if the government was sincere, then even Paresh Baruah would not object to such negotiations taking place,” Hiren Gohain, the forum’s convener, told journalists here.
The forum was formed after two top ULFA leaders, vice-chairman Pradip Gogoi and publicity chief Mithinga Daimary, met leading citizens in the state and appealed for their help in furthering the deadlocked peace process.
The two ULFA leaders are now out on bail after a Guwahati court last month released them from judicial custody.
The forum is holding a state-level convention here April 24 to get a set of resolutions endorsed aimed at taking the peace process ahead.
“The convention would be attended by a cross section of the people of Assam and the resolutions adopted there would reflect the sentiment of the state and hence neither the government nor the ULFA could take the recommendations lightly. We hope both the sides would respect the resolutions which we think would be acceptable to the two parties,” Gohain said.
The ULFA leadership in recent months expressed their willingness for peace talks with New Delhi, although they have been insisting on their core demand of sovereignty to be included in such discussions.
“We are against secession and no one would accept such a proposition,” Gohain said.
Barring Baruah, the entire top brass of the outfit is in jail - the imprisoned leaders include chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, deputy commander-in-chief Raju Baruah, self-styled foreign secretary Sasha Choudhury, finance secretary Chitrabon Hazarika, cultural secretary Pranati Deka, and ideologue Bhimkanta Buragohain.

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