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Assam: Opposition calls for peace talks with ULFA
K Anurag in Guwahati |
October 15, 2007 20:43 IST
The Asom Gana Parishad, the state's main Opposition party, has raised a demand to initiate immediate peace talks with the banned United Liberation Front of Asom.
AGP president Brindabon Goswami has called upon the Centre to revive the derailed peace process with the insurgent group. The AGP leader stated that the Centre will have to take greater efforts to facilitate talks with the ULFA.
Political observers, however, view the renewed call by the AGP for peace talks as an attempt to placate ULFA before the forthcoming panchayat election in Assam. During the AGP's regime between 1996 and 2001, the ULFA faced the most ruthless anti-insurgency operations at the instance of the then Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre.
Meanwhile, the ruling Congress maintained that it was prepared to go to any extent to restore peace in Assam by providing 'democratic space to anyone under the provisions of the Indian Constitution'.
Senior All India Congress Committee leader and newly- appointed in charge of the party in Assam Verappa Moily said in Guwahati on Monday that the Indian Constitution was the best conflict resolution document and solution to the insurgency problem in Assam lies in it.
Even as political parties are understandably harping on the issue of talks with the banned ULFA when the panchayat elections in the state are just a couple of months away, the Army is opposed to any olive branch or softening of operations against the banned insurgent group.
A security source informed that the Army, which has virtually crippled the ULFA's main strike force through sustained operations during the last several months, is in no mood to let the ULFA off the hook this time.
In fact, the GoC 4 Corps on the Indian Army based in Tezpur, Lieutenant General B S Jaswal, recently made it clear that the Army will agree to any sort of ceasefire only if the insurgents gave up their weapons and agreed to be lodged in designated camps.