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Assam: ULFA wants PM to break stalemate
K Anurag in Guwahati | September 03, 2006 18:32 IST
The negotiators of the People's Consultative Group nominated by the banned United Liberation Front of Asom have decided to send a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention to break the stalemate in the peace initiative by releasing five top militant leaders from jail.
PCG members Lachit Bardoloi and Arup Borbora in a statement issued in Guwahati on Sunday evening informed that the PCG meeting held on Saturday night took a decision to call for intervention from the prime minister to facilitate the release of five top jailed leaders of ULFA "as per decisions taken on June 22 meeting between the PCG and government of India representatives".
The PCG informed that release of these senior ULFA central committee leaders would lead to breaking of the deadlock in the peace initiatives that had been successful in facilitating temporary suspension of army operation and restraint on part of ULFA.
The PCG was of the view that the atmosphere in Assam was now congenial to facilitate direct talks between the ULFA and government of India provided the government agreed to release the five ULFA leaders from jail as sought by the militant group.
The PCG coordinators -- litterateur Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami and Rebati Phukon -- would soon meet the prime minister to submit the letter from the PCG seeking his intervention in release of ULFA leaders from jail for the greater interests of the peace process.
The ULFA demands release of its central committee leaders -- Pradip Gogoi, Bhimkanta Buragohain, Mithinga Daimary, Pranati Deka and Ramu Mech -- from jails so that they could be present in the ULFA central committee meeting to help the group to take a final decision whether to hold direct talks with the government of India or not.
However, the govermment of India has sought a letter of commitment from the ULFA leadership expressing its willingness to hold direct talks, assurance of presence of ULFA commander in chief Paresh Baruah and chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa in talks and a specific date and venue for holding talks.
The government indicated that it might release the jailed ULFA leaders if it received the letter of commitment from ULFA.
However, the ULFA termed the fresh condition from the government as delaying tactics and asked the government to honour the decisions of June 22 meeting between the PCG and government representatives and release five of its leaders from jail for the greater interests of the peace process.