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ULFA leaders to surrender: Pillai
Published on 7 Jun. 2010 12:58 AM IST
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Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai says a number of top commanders and leaders of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) based in Bangladesh and Myanmar are expected to surrender shortly and join the peace process.
“Some of them are senior leaders and commanders based in Bangladesh and Myanmar who have expressed their willingness to come overground,” Pilla said Sunday.
Pillai was in Meghalaya on a three-day visit to review the security situation that concluded Saturday. “The Assam government has already initiated the peace process with the ULFA and we are very optimistic about a settlement,” the home secretary said in Guwahati while returning to New Delhi after his trip to Meghalaya.
He said the presence of the elusive ULFA commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah was important for the peace talks, but claimed the rebel leader would find himself in a spot if he keeps away from the dialogue process.
“Paresh Baruah would be marginalized if he remains adamant and fails to respect the voices of the people of Assam,” the home secretary said.
Tarun Gogoi last week set the ball rolling by way of a cabinet decision to open peace talks with the ULFA leadership, majority of them in jail now. Six top ULFA leaders are in jail and that includes chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, ‘deputy commander-in-chief’ Raju Baruah, ‘foreign secretary’ Sasha Choudhury, ‘finance secretary’ Chitraban Hazarika, ‘cultural secretary’ Pranati Deka, and political ideologue Bhimkanta Buragohain.
Ranju Chowdhury
arrested in Bangladesh
Meanwhile, Bangladesh today arrested ULFA leader Ranju Chowdhury alias Rattan Sarkar from a northern district, months after the chief of the separatist outfit Arbinda Rajkhowa was handed over to Indian authorities. He was arrested from northern Mymensingh district, local sources said.
The elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) troops arrested Chowdhury as he was being treated at a health facility in Mymensingh, local newsmen familiar with the case said on phone.
RAB officials, however, declined to confirm the report with its chief Hasan Mahmud Khondker saying “I have no idea”.
“We have heard that he (Chowdhury) has been arrested but have nothing in details to tell you. RAB has not informed us...” a senior official of Mymensingh police said.

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