Guwahati: ULFA `chairman` Arabinda Rajkhowa
on Tuesday denied there was a split in the group and claimed that
`commander-in-chief` Paresh Barua, reportedly opposed to the
ongoing peace process, also wanted a solution to the 32-year-
"There is no split in the ULFA. There are no factions. It
is only the media which says one faction is led by Paresh
Barua and another by Arabinda Rajkhowa," Rajkhowa told PTI
here in an interview.
"Paresh Baruah as the `commander-in-chief` of our
organisation may want a military solution and I as the head of
the organisation want a political solution ... but both of us
want a solution to the conflict," he said.
Asked if he has spoken with Baruah to be present at the
peace talks, he said, "He is interested, but has doubts about
how much we can trust the government of India.
"Besides, he has never himself opposed the talks. It is
only a person by the name of Arun Udoy Dohotia who issues
press statements opposing the talks," he claimed.
"I am in touch with Barua. Not much can be spoken on
phone except for asking about each other`s welfare. Such
important matters relating to the peace talks cannot be
discussed on the phone."
He said discussions had to be held face to face with all
executive council members based on the collective leadership
"During our last executive council meeting (in July), we
did ask Paresh Baruah to participate in the peace process in
the interest of the people," Rajkhowa said.
On the possibility of negative impact of Barua`s absence
at the just-begun peace talks, he said, "This is doubt in the
mind of the media. The government of India has made no demand
that he has to be present at the talks or for that matter all
our cadres in the jungles have to come out.
"Even without Baruah the talks have taken place and
the peace process is progressing. Baruah knows that our
organisation`s aim is resolution of the Assam-India conflict."
He also alleged "a tendency is seen in certain
quarters not to give us our due and what they think about us
is their individual matter, but they cannot deprive us of our
self-respect. We are not a toothless snake."
On Dohotia issuing press statements, Rajkhowa said, "As
per our constitution there is no existence of a person by that
name. We, therefore, give no recognition to the statements
given out by Dohotia in the name of Paresh Baruah against the