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ULFA to demand ceasefire
Sujit Chakraborty | October 14, 2005 13:51 IST
United Liberation Front of Asom's 11-member People's Consultative Group is all set to demand an immediate ceasefire in Assam to begin formal peace talks between the top ULFA leaders and the representatives of the United Progressive Alliance government.
The preliminary round of talks between the PCG and the representatives of the Centre is scheduled for October 25 and October 26.
Although the Central government is yet to make any formal announcement in this regard, the PCG members had a detailed meeting in Guwahati on October 7 on the impending preliminary round of talks.
According to the report, National Security Adviser M K Narayanan is all set to represent the government in the first meeting.
The outlawed ULFA leadership, in an intelligent move, involved the civil society by constituting a People's Consultative Group with their people, mainly to test what the Centre is up to.
In the process, the ULFA leaders have been able to keep themselves away from the well-oiled Indian intelligence machinery. The ULFA leaders had to suffer a split in the 1990s in a similar situation. So this time, it appears, they are extra cautious.
Meanwhile, PCG has received over 3,000 responses from the people belonging to different parts of Assam on the possible agenda to be prepared for discussion with the Centre.
While a majority of the responses asked for a ceasefire, many advocated for the inclusion of sovereignty as part of discussion. The other items in the agenda as suggested by a large section of the people includes, immediate end to violence and a meaningful solution to the long-awaited problems of Assam.
The ULFA duo, Commander-in-Chief Paresh Baruah and Chairman Arobindo Rajkhowa, on the other hand, are keenly observing the outcome of the ongoing Naga talks.
If a breakthrough is made there, the ULFA is hopeful that they would also be able to extract their share from the Centre.