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Centre, ULFA committee to meet by end-October
October 04, 2005 21:54 IST
In a significant development, the Centre has decided to hold talks with a group appointed by banned insurgents' outfit United Liberation Front of Assam later this month, Jnanpith award-winning author Indira Goswami said on Tuesday night.
Goswami, who met National Security Advisor M K Narayanan on Tuesday evening, said the talks could be held either on October 24 or 25 or on both days.
Goswami, who is mediating between the Centre and the ULFA, was accompanied by Rebati Phukan, one of the 11 members of the People's Consultative Group nominated by ULFA to prepare the ground for direct peace talks with the Centre.
Expressing happiness over the Centre's decision, Goswami said Narayanan would finalise the modalities for the talks. Narayanan also handed over to her a sealed letter addressed to ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa who is believed to be in Bangladesh.
"This is a ground-breaking development after 27 years," Goswami said. On the contentious issue of ULFA's condition that Assam's 'sovereignty' be put on the agenda of the peace talks, she said 'it will be discussed at a later stage'.
She complimented the United Progressive Alliance government for taking the 'major peace initiative' to bring back peace in Assam - "I'm extremely happy that the UPA government has decided to talk to ULFA, as it is a step towards restoring peace and stability in Assam after 27 years."