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Lay down arms before Sept 15: Centre ultimatum to DHD

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 21:27

New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday gave an
ultimatum to Assam-based militant group Dima Halam Daogah
(DHD) to lay down arms before September 15, saying it will
consider holding talks only after the surrender.

This was decided at a high-level meeting attended
among others by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, Assam Chief
Minister Tarun Gogoi, National Security Adviser M K Narayanan,
Army Chief Deepak Kapoor and IB director Rajiv Mathur.

"It was decided in the meeting that we will consider
holding talks with the group if they surrender before
September 15 with all their arms, stay in their designated
camps, stop extortion of money and come for talks with their
top leaders," Gogoi told reporters after the meeting.

He said government will not respond to the ceasefire
call by the group and the operation against it will continue
unless all its cadres surrender with their arms and

"They are killing innocent people. It has to stop.
Operation against them will continue till they surrender with
their arms and ammunition," Gogoi said.

The DHD, involved in a spate of violent activities
since 2008 in Cachar and Karbi Anglong districts, had offered
unilateral ceasefire following arrest of several of its top
leaders recently. Asked whether the Centre was also willing to hold
talks with the ULFA, Gogoi said the government was ready for
parleys with any militant group within the framework of the

"We are ready to hold talks within the framework of
the Constitution. We will hold talks only with their top
leaders," he said, adding government will not bow to pressure
from any group.

The DHD had made overtures to the state government for
peace talks also.

The Assam government has been maintaining that the
group must first lay down arms, shift the cadres to
government-run designated camps and stop violent activities
before holding peace talks.

A series of ethnic clashes and violent activity by the
DHD have resulted in halting of work on two major national
projects — construction of the last lap of the East-West
Corridor and a broad gauge track between Lumding and Silchar.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 21:27
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