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ULFA asks govt to keep promises made to PCG
K Anurag in Guwahati | July 01, 2006 18:44 IST
The banned United Liberation Front of Asom on Saturday demanded that the government keep promises made to the People's Consultative Group to pave the way for direct peace talks.
In a statement e-mailed to the media in Guwahati, ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa lauded the PCG which was nominated by the militant group in September 2005 to prepare the ground for peace process, for the 'sincere' effort put in by it to facilitate direct peace talks between ULFA leadership and the government.
"While lauding the PCG and its members along with noted litterateur Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami for their sincere efforts, we hope that the government of India will soon implement what it promised to the PCG to facilitate direct talks with the ULFA. We alert everyone against design of vested interests to derail the peace process," the militant leader stated.
This is for the first time the ULFA has formally reacted to the outcome of the third and probably the last round of talks between the government of India, PCG and Assam government held in New Delhi on June 22.
The third round of preparatory talks between representatives of government of India and the PCG concluded with a joint call for restraint from all sides to create a conducive atmosphere in violence-affected Assam to facilitate direct talks between ULFA leaders and the Central government.
In a joint statement issued after the talks, which was chaired by the Home Minister Shivraj Patil, the government and the PCG called upon the banned ULFA to create a peaceful atmosphere in Assam for the sake of lasting peace.
Patil asked the PCG to impress upon ULFA the need for a peaceful atmosphere in the state for finding a peaceful solution to the problem
As per the joint statement, the Union home minister assured the PCG to consider the latter's requests for the release of five senior jailed ULFA leaders favourably after consulting with the government of Assam.
The government also dropped hints that the ceasefire with the banned ULFA was a possibility in the near future depending on how ULFA behaves from now onwards.
The ULFA had demanded the release of five jailed central executive leaders -- Pradip Gogoi, Bhimkanta Buragohain, Pranati Deka, Mithinga Daimary and Ramu Mech -- to enable it to take a 'consensus decision' regarding direct negotiation with the government.
The government of Assam already told the Central government that it was not opposed to release of certain senior ULFA leaders from jail for the greater interests of the peace initiative.