General council to decide on talks: ULFA chairman

With the Assam government deciding in principle to initiate talks with the ULFA, the banned group today responded by saying that any decision on its participation will be taken by its `general council`.

Last Updated: May 27, 2010, 19:00 PM IST

Guwahati: With the Assam government
deciding in principle to initiate talks with the ULFA, the
banned group today responded by saying that any decision on
its participation will be taken by its `general council`.

ULFA `chairman` Arabinda Rajkhowa, who was brought to
the Guwahati Medical College Hospital here for check-up, told
reporters that he cannot comment till the `general council`
decides on the issue.
Asked whether talks would be held without Paresh
Baruah as Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi announced here
yesterday, he said any decision regarding talks have to be
taken by `general council` members.

Gogoi announced that his government had taken a
decision to hold talks with the ULFA irrespective of whether
its `commander-in-chief` Paresh Baruah comes for negotiations
or not.

Among the ULFA`s 15-member general council, six,
including Rajkhowa, are in judicial custody. `Vice chairman`
Pradip Gogoi and `publicity secretary` Mithinga Daimary have
been released on bail while three members are missing since
the Bhutan operations in 2003.
`General secretary` Anup Chetia is in a Bangladesh
jail, another member Robin Handique died in Tezpur Jail after
he was brought there after the Bhutan operations and only two
members -- Paresh Barua and Jibon Moran are at large.

Meanwhile, members of the Citizens Forum, comprising
prominent intellectuals led by eminent litterateur Hiren
Gohain, called on the chief minister and thanked him for the
decision to hold talks. They also urged him to proceed without
any conditions.

PTI