Centre ready to hold peace talks with ULFA(I): Himanta Biswa

The offer comes a few days after ULFA(I) claimed responsibility for four serial blasts in Upper Assam districts on the Republic Day.

Centre ready to hold peace talks with ULFA(I): Himanta Biswa
File photo

Guwahati: A day after the Bodo pact was signed, senior Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday said that the Centre is willing to hold peace talks with ULFA (Independent) faction and appealed to its leader Paresh Barua to come to the negotiating table.

Sarma, also the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor, told reporters here that Union Home Minister Amit Shah had clearly said on Monday that if the anti-talk ULFA(I) faction is ready for negotiations, then "the Centre is more than willing to hold dialogue with them for the sake of permanent peace in Assam and the Northeast."

"A historic Accord was signed on Monday through discussions with all the factions of the NDFB. The Centre and state government want peace in the region through dialogue," Sarma said, referring to the Bodo pact.

Most of the militant outfits in the northeastern states, barring some in Assam and Manipur, are holding talks but "if we want peace in the region, it should be inclusive by involving all the factions and the outfits," he said.

The offer comes a few days after ULFA(I) claimed responsibility for four serial blasts in Upper Assam districts on the Republic Day.