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ULFA harps on 'sovereignty' demand
K Anurag in Guwahati | August 19, 2007 19:06 IST
The United Liberation Front of Asom has indicated that direct talks with the Indian government will not be possible unless the issue of 'restoration of sovereignty to the people of Assam' did not form the core agenda of dialogue.
The ULFA stated so in response to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's renewed appeal to the insurgent group to hold direct talk with the central government to find a lasting solution for the sake of restoration of peace in Assam.
In the editorial of the latest issue of the outfit's mouthpiece 'Freedom', the soft-copies of which have been made available to the media persons, the banned insurgent group pointed out that the suggestions for direct talks often raised by the government without making any reference to the issue of 'restoration of the sovereignty of Assam.'
The banned ULFA has been engaged in an armed conflict with the Indian forces for the last 27 years demanding 'restoration of sovereignty of Assam', the core demand of the outfit.
Meanwhile, the Assam government has decided to form a jungle warfare police battalion intensify operation against insurgents groups operating in thickly forested areas of Assam including Karbi Anglong hill district where suspected ULFA and Karbi Longri North Cachar Hill Liberation Front killed 29 Hindi-speaking people last week.
Gogoi informed that the Indian government had given its go ahead for raising of the Jungle Warfare Battalion in Assam Police as early as possible.
He said the battalion would be handy in carrying out sustained operations inside forest areas of the state to smoke out insurgents taking shelter in those inaccessible areas.
As on date the police and the army carry out on and off operations inside forest areas in the two hill districts and along the inter-state boundary areas in Assam to demolish insurgents' base camps.
However, such operations can be hardly sustained for a long time in absence of a Jungle Warfare Battalion.