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Home > News > PTI

Army suspends ULFA operations for 15 days

August 23, 2006 16:14 IST

Giving fresh impetus to the peace process in Assam, the Centre on Tuesday extended the suspension of army operations against the banned United Liberation Front of Asom for another 15 days from Wednesday.

"As of now, we have decided to extend the suspension of the army operations against ULFA for 15 days," Union Home Secretary V K Duggal told reporters after a meeting in New Delhi with two key mediators - Assamese writer Indira Goswami and Rebati Phukan - negotiating on behalf of the group.

The meeting was also attended by National Security Advisor M K Narayanan. "No incident has taken place in Assam during the last 10 days (since army operations were stopped). But in case any violence takes place, this will be reviewed," Duggal said.

The Centre had first suspended army operations against the ULFA on August 13, and the group responded five days later by announcing a "cessation of hostilities". Asked about the possibility of releasing five jailed ULFA leaders to facilitate direct talks, as demanded by the group, Goswami said, "The government has raised some points which ULFA has to clarify.

Rebati Phukan will convey the message to the ULFA and get the points clarified by them." Phukan said, "There is every possibility that the five detenues will be released by the end of August."

Duggal, however, said the Centre has sought a written commitment from ULFA on three points - the group has to come for direct talks, parleys should be held on a particular date and the representatives for this dialogue.

"We have also suggested that the top leadership of ULFA should come for talks to make the dialogue meaningful. We will take a view on the date of the direct talks when the mediators get back with the points raised today," Duggal said.

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