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ULFA seeks plebiscite on sovereignty demand
K Anurag in Guwahati |
March 02, 2007 10:00 IST
The banned United Liberation Front of Assam has dared the government to hold 'plebiscite' on the issue of 'restoration of sovereignty to Assam -- the core demand of the outfit.
In the latest issue of its mouthpiece Swadhinata (Freedom) that has been released through the Internet, the ULFA has stated that if the government of India was unwilling to hold talks with the group on its demand for 'sovereignty to Assam,' a plebiscite should be held on the issue to have people's opinion on it.
The militant group's statement is, in fact, a response to what Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had stated on the floor of state assembly a couple of days ago. Gogoi had said that 'ULFA's demand for sovereignty is a tacit to delay the peace process, as there is no question of holding discussion on country's sovereignty.'
However, this is not the first time that the ULFA insisted on a plebiscite as a way to end the imbroglio over whether people of Assam need or aspire for 'sovereignty' or not. But the same militant group was furious when an opinion poll conducted by an organisation called Assam Public Works, showed that over 95 per cent people in nine districts of Assam did not support the ULFA's demand for 'restoration of sovereignty'.
The ULFA termed the opinion poll a handiwork of the state police and Indian Intelligence. APW is an organisation of close relatives of some ULFA members.
In the issue of its mouth piece, the ULFA also denied the media reports about the group having injected money into the election campaign for some major political parties/poll candidates of Bangladesh.
The ULFA stated that the allegation in an analytical report by the US-based Strategic Foresight Inc (Stratfor) was designed to create rift in its ranks. The Stratfor report revealed that the ULFA was bankrolling major political parties in Bangladesh by pumping in over $6 million.
Security agencies in India firmly believe that top fugitive ULFA leaders, including its commander-in-chief Paresh Barua have taken shelter in Bangladesh, even though the government in the neighbouring country has been refusing to accept it.
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