Release leaders, no talks without Baruah: ULFA
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Last Updated: Friday, May 28, 2010, 21:06
  
Guwahati: ULFA on Friday demanded release of its six jailed leaders to take the talks process forward and asserted that the group had never said it will hold discussions without its 'commander in chief' Paresh Baruah.

ULFA 'publicity secretary' Mithinga Daimary said in a statement, issued after the meeting of eight members of the group's 'general council' at the Guwahati Central Jail, that the political process of talks could proceed only if the jailed leaders were released.

"We welcome Union Home Minister P Chidambaram's announcement of the need for political process in the state followed by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and his cabinet's decision to hold talks," Daimary said.

According to him, ULFA could take a decision on the political settlement of the state's problems only when its 15-member general council could meet. This would be possible when the jailed leaders were released.

On Baruah, he said at no point of time "have we said that talks could be held without him.

"Any decision on this has to be taken by the general council and neither has the Citizen's Forum taken a stand on this. Therefore, we appeal to the people not to be misled or be confused regarding this matter."

Chief Minister Gogoi had earlier said that talks could proceed whether Baruah participated or not as "we cannot wait for him indefinitely".

Daimary further said that the topmost priority should be now on creating a congenial atmosphere for talks and "we believe that a politically negotiated settlement can bring permanent solution to Assam's problems.

"We believe that if a sincere and dedicated effort is made overcoming narrow political interests, the state's problems can be solved and we are genuinely keen for a negotiated settlement of the issue."

Daimary and the group's 'vice chairman' Pradip Gogoi, who were recently released on bail today met their 'chairman' Arabinda Rajkhowa, 'advisor' Bhimakanta Buragohain, 'deputy commander-in-chief' Raju Barua, 'foreign secretary' Sashadhar Choudhury, 'finance secretary' Chitrabon Hazarika and 'cultural secretary' Pranati Hazarika.

Three of the 15-member general council are missing since Bhutan operations in 2003 while another member Robin Handique died in Tezpur jail after he was brought there after the operations.

ULFA 'general secretary' Anup Chetia is in a Bangladesh jail and only two members -- Paresh Baruah and Jibon Moran are at large.

PTI


First Published: Friday, May 28, 2010, 21:06


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