Paresh Barua hits out at Committee leader again

Guwahati: ULFA 'Commander-in-Chief' Paresh Barua today accused leader of the Committee set up to facilitate talks Hiren Gohain of not having adequate knowledge about the outfit.

"Gohain's comments about me and the ULFA is unfortunate. He is not aware of ULFA's internal democracy and should acquire more knowledge about the outfit. Knowledge about the ULFA among Assam's intellectuals is indeed pitiable," Barua said in a statement e-mailed to the media here in reaction to a statement issued by Gohain today.

Gohain, Sahitya Akademi award winning litterateur, had urged Barua to examine the suggestions made by them before rushing to the media with his comments.

"If Barua honours the constitution of the ULFA, he should wait until conditions are suitable for a meeting of its central committee leaders in a situation free from constraints before rushing to the press," Gohain said in a statement here today.

In an e-mail sent to the media here on April 19, Barua was critical of the role played by intellectuals in solving Assam's problems and had asserted that there could be no compromise on the issue of sovereignty.

Barua today further said that to reject the demand for sovereignty is not a good sign and "we will not give it up."

"I have given an opinion only after consulting members of the outfit's central committee and I have the right to speak on behalf of the outfit," he said.

Gohain had earlier clarified that the convenors of the Committee have never been ideologues of the ULFA and it was therefore natural that their perception of the history and politics of the country was different from that Barua's.

"We are hopeful that given an open and goodwill on both sides, it may still be possible to reach a positive conclusion to the relief of the people of Assam," the Sahitya Akademi award winning litterateur added.

An eleven member committee of noted intellectuals, led by Gohain, was formed on April 11 to create a positive atmosphere for talks and help in restoring peace in the state.

Gohain had told reporters on April 11 that the committee was formed after Barua assured them that he had no objection to talks and wants a respectable solution to Assam's problems.

Barua, however, in a volte-face after two weeks, alleged the majority of the intellectuals lacked commitment and responsibility towards the state and he was not "happy with the progress in the talks process so far."