Govt ready for peace talks without Paresh Barua: Gogoi

Last Updated: Monday, May 3, 2010 - 18:28

Guwahati: Ruling out discussion on the
sovereignty demand of ULFA, the Assam government today said it
was ready for talks with the militant group even without its
elusive `commander-in-chief` Paresh Barua.

"Sovereignty is non-negotiable and at the same time
we are trying to rope in more leaders of ULFA to start the
peace process. We are not going to wait indefinitely for
anyone," Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters here in an
indirect reference to Barua and his opposition to the talks.

Urging a forum comprising intellectuals to reconsider
their stand on sovereignty, he pointed out the ULFA also is
not sure about the grounds for talks.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had made it clear in
his first meeting with the ULFA-appointed Peoples Consultative
Group (PCG) that sovereignty cannot be discussed," he said.

Gogoi described as prize catch the arrest of NDFB
`chairman` Ranjan Daimary, saying he was directly involved in
the October 30, 2008 bomb blast in Guwahati which claimed 92
lives.

"It is a good sign that top NDFB and ULFA leaders are
arrested and they have expressed willingness to enter into
negotiation," he said.

According to Gogoi, CBI has already registered a case
against Daimary and it will soon start interrogation.

On the recent arrest of two top Manipur-based UNLF
militants, Gogoi said these groups, including NSCN, were
trying to have a strong base in Assam.

"Assam being the gateway to the northeast is a
vulnerable place and therefore security has been tightened to
prevent the outfits from having a strong base here", he said.

The National Investigating Agency, he said, would take
up the case of the presence of UNLF militants in the state and
also the arrest of their two top leaders.

Expressing satisfaction that the `friendly` Bangladesh
government has helped in the arrest of top ULFA leaders,
including its `chairman` Arabinda Rajkhowa, Gogoi said there
are more hideouts of NDFB and ULFA in that country.

"Paresh Barua is still at large in either Myanmar or
Bangladesh and we want all hideouts to be busted," he said.

PTI



First Published: Monday, May 3, 2010 - 18:28

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