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Assam: Government toughens stand on ULFA
November 13, 2006 21:22 IST
The central government on Monday said that operations against the banned United Liberation Front of Asom will stopped only after they give a written commitment for holding direct talks with the government.
"The Centre has asked for a written commitment from ULFA about the date of holding talks," Assamese writer Indira Goswami, a member of the People's Consultative Group, said after an hour-long meeting with National Security Advisor M K Narayanan.
Asked whether there was any demand from ULFA for the army and the police to stop operations against its cadres, she said, "[The operations] will automatically cease once ULFA comes for talks."
Goswami said the People's Consultative Group had the mandate of the banned organisation and conveyed to the Centre that ULFA had not carried out Guwahati's Fancy Bazar blast on November 5, which left over 10 people dead.
The outfit did not mention the second blast outside the Guwahati Refinery on the same day.
The meeting was the first between the mediators and the Centre after the twin bomb blasts, blamed on the banned group.
Goswami said she was hopeful of a breakthrough in the peace process after ULFA stepped up violence.
She said, "It is good that the government has maintained that the door for talks is still open."
Asked whether ULFA chief Paresh Baruah was ready to come for talks, Goswami said he had conveyed that he was ready to come once the Centre announced that it was ready to discuss the group's key demand, sovereignty.
She said that ULFA was waiting for a communication from the government. "I told them categorically that a written communication must come from them."