No rift within ULFA, says commander-in-chief Baruah
Guwahati: The elusive `commander-in-chief` of the Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), Paresh Baruah on Saturday reportedly denied any rift within the ranks of the separatist outfit, saying he and the group`s `chairman` Arabinda Rajkhowa share ‘same views’.
In a letter written to several Assam dailies, Baruah said there were no differences of opinion between him and Rajkhowa, who is in the custody of Indian officials.
The absconding ULFA commander-in-chief, who is thought to be in the Yunan province of China, however did not clarify whether the ‘same views’ were regarding holding peace talks with the Indian government.
While Rajkhowa has reportedly expressed his willingness to hold talks with India, Baruah had yesterday asked the group`s chairman not to fall into the "trap" of Indian government by holding a dialogue.
"I appeal to you not to fall into the trap of Indian government and declare your present stand keeping in mind the sacrifice of 12,000 martyrs who laid down their lives for an independent Assam as well as the people of Assam who crave for independence," he said in an email statement.
Rajkhowa had on Friday dramatically surrendered before the Indian authorities at Dawki in Meghalaya, after being handed over by the Bangladeshi authorities. Rajkhowa was recently detained in Dhaka along with several of his aides.
Baruah meanwhile denied in his letter that Rajkhowa had surrendered, claiming he was arrested by the Indian authorities after being handed over by Bangladesh.
Baruah’s reported remarks came even as two more ULFA leaders – Anshuman Bora and Rinku Barma – surrendered before the Indian Army at Thakurbari in Assam`s Sonitpur district.
Bora is wanted for the November 2006 blast in Assam’s Tinsukhia district.
Rajkhowa, along with his personal security guard Raja Bora and the outfit’s deputy commander-in-chief Raju Baruah, were due to be produced in a local court in Guwahati today.
Among those who surrendered at Dawki yesterday include Rajkhowa, his wife Kaveri and two children, Raju Baruah, his wife and one child, Raja Bora, and the wife of ULFA foreign secretary Sasha Choudhury and their son.
The surrendered ULFA leaders and their family members were brought to Guwahati by a helicopter and lodged at the fourth Assam Police Battalion headquarters in the city.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi welcomed the surrender and said the decision by Rajkhowa to come out could pave the way for lasting peace in the state.
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