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Home > News > Report

Karbi tribal ultras suspend talks with govt

K Anurag in Guwahati | September 13, 2006 12:28 IST

Uneasy peace in Assam's tribal dominated hill district of Karbi Anglong has come under serious threat as the United People's Democratic Solidarity, a Karbi tribal militant group based in the hill district, has unilaterally decided to suspend ongoing peace talks with the government of India accusing the latter of 'indifference'.

However, a source in Assam Home Department expressed ignorance about the UPDS move stating that the government was yet to receive any communication from the militant group in this regard.

The UPDS has suspended the process of political talks with the government of India accusing the latter of not being serious in finding a political solution to the Karbi political problem and showing undue interests in 'mundane issues'.

However, the militant group stated that the ceasefire with the government of India security forces would continue for some more time. The militant group has been in ceasefire with the government of India since August 2001.

In a statement, the UPDS said the central executive committee of the outfit met recently to discuss the progress of talks with the government and observed, "Because of perceptible lack of commitment on the part of the government representatives, the official level tripartite talks turned out to be futile exercises." The three parties involved in the talks include the UPDS, the government of India and government of Assam.

The group said during the six rounds of tripartite talks held so far, the UPDS had pressed for exhaustive discussion on issues mentioned in its charter of demands submitted to the government before beginning of the peace talks.

However, the UPDS regretted that the response from the government to its political demands was not positive. The outfit said that no solution within the present geographical boundary of Assam would be acceptable to the outfit, but the government representatives had been skirting this key issue during talks held so far.

The UPDS also accused the government of violating the agreed ground rules of the ceasefire pact. The outfit stated that the present regime in New Delhi raised objection to the presence of representatives of non-government organisations in the sixth round of peace talks though the previous government at the Centre had agreed to their presence in the talks.

"It should be the prerogative of the UPDS to determine the composition of its negotiating team keeping in mind the success of the talks. Cross sections of the society should be involved in the process of talks to ensure its success," a release said.

The UPDS  launched armed struggle in late 1990s to press for its demand for a separate state for Karbi tribe outside the geographical boundary of Assam, but within the country. Karbis are one of the oldest tribes in Assam.

The hill district is now governed by an autonomous district council granted under the Sixth Schedule of Indian Constitution.

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