ULFA leaders meet Gogoi, seek help for peace talks

p ULFA leaders led by chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa Wednesday met Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and sought his cooperation to take forward the peace process with the Centre.

Guwahati: Top ULFA leaders led by chairman
Arabinda Rajkhowa Wednesday met Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and sought his cooperation to take forward the peace process
with the Centre.

Rajkhowa and seven other leaders met the Chief
Minister at his official residence on the eve of talks with a
central team led by Union Home Secretary G K Pillai tomorrow.

Gogoi told reporters after the meeting that this was
the first time a Chief Minister had met the ULFA leadership
"officially and face-to-face".

"I hope talks with the Centre is successful and they
discussed with me how to take the peace process forward",
Gogoi said.

Asked whether the ULFA leaders had presented their
demands before him, Gogoi said, "They will tell the Centre about their demands".
Rajkhowa told reporters their meeting with the Chief
Minister was "primarily a courtesy call before the talks".

"We urged the Chief Minister to speed up the process
in New Delhi and sought his cooperation to take the peace
process to the next phase. The modalities for the talks have
not been worked out so far and will come later", he said.
Besides Rajkhowa, the other leaders of the outfit
present in the meeting were Vice Chairman Pradip Gogoi,
political advisor Bhimakanta Buragohain, Foreign Secretary
Sasha Choudhury, Finance Secretary Chitrabon Hazarika,
Cultural Secretary Pranati Deka, Publicity Secretary Mithinga
Daimary and Deputy Commander-in Raju Barua.

The ULFA leaders were likely to call upon Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram
though the dates were yet to be fixed.

The ULFA leaders released from jail recently have
decided to hold unconditional talks with the government but
the faction led by outfit`s Commander-in-chief Paresh Barua
was opposed to it.

PTI