Govt to give all facilities to ULFA if they talk

The govt is prepared to provide all facilities under law to the jailed top ULFA leadership if they come forward for talks, Assam CM Tarun Gogoi said today.

Guwahati: The government is prepared to
provide all facilities under law to the jailed top ULFA
leadership if they come forward for talks, Assam Chief
Minister Tarun Gogoi said today.

"We will give all facilities within the existing
provisions of law to them (ULFA) to hold talks. But no
proposal has been received so far from them," Gogoi told
reporters here.

"The leaders who will talk have to come forward. We
have got only one letter so far from an ULFA leader expressing
willingness to talk," he said.

"But we want more leaders to come forward so that the
talks are successful and complete. We want even the fence
seaters, including (ULFA `c-in-c`) Paresh Barua, to come for
negotiations," Gogoi said.

"Our attempt is to bring the majority of their leaders
to the negotiation table. But we cannot wait indefinitely," he

On the June 30 statement by Union Home Minister P
Chidambaram that the government would have to wait for the
court`s decision on the release of jailed ULFA leaders, Gogoi
said, "the bail issue is not in our hands. Bail has to be
given by court."

Asked if the talks proposal had taken a U-turn
following Chidambaram`s statement, Gogoi said, "the point is
some (ULFA leaders) have expressed their desire for talks. We
want more to come."

On June 25, Paresh Barua had rejected the efforts by
the Sanmilita Jatiya Abhibartan (SJA), a body of senior
citizens of the state which has come forward to facilitate the
talks, saying it did represent the common people.

Barua has accused the SJA members of representing
their `own selfish interests` during talks with the Centre and
said they did not understand the sentiment of the Assamese

On a recent ULFA warning to the government on the hike
of fuel and essential supplies, the Chief Minister said, "I am
not afraid of the ULFA. They have been warning me and my
government throughout.

"They are trying to sabotage my government. We will
take appropriate action if they do something. We will not go
by what they or any other insurgent outfits say," he said.

Asked if the ULFA was stepping up activities by
targeting the tea industry, he said, "ULFA is trying to
re-establish itself. But their support base has not increased.

"Their extortion drive has increased in some places
and reduced in others. Many outfits posing as ULFA have also
come up," he said.


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