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Assam: Fate of ULFA-nominated body uncertain

K Anurag in Guwahati | July 06, 2008 17:05 IST

Sensing the frustration gripping a section of members of People's Consultative Group (PCG) over the stalled peace process between the banned United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and the Centre, ULFA chairman Arabina Rajkhowa said that the outfit wouldn't object to any of the PCG members leaving the group according to their wish.

The PCG was nominated by the ULFA in September 2005 to do the spade work to facilitate direct talks between the ULFA leadership and the Centre.

It has nine members apart from noted litterateur Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami who has been acting as a bridge between the PCG and the Government of India.
The initial euphoria over formation of the PCG and possible talks between the ULFA and govt died down after three rounds of talks till June 2006 failed to make a headway in respect of bringing the ULFA and the government to the negotiation table.

The continuing deadlock in the peace process because of the rigid postures adopted by the ULFA and government over pre-conditions on talks has precipitated frustration among the PCG members.
Questions are now being raised about the relevance of the PCG after 'A' and 'C' companies of the 28th battalion of the ULFA declaring unilateral truce, not surrender, to expedite the peace process aimed at facilitating direct unconditional talks between the ULFA top leaders and the Centre.

The  leaders of the 'A' and 'C' companies of the outfit  after calling unilateral truce have commented that the PCH has failed in achieving its objective . The government too has made it clear that it was no longer interested in talking with the PCG and will sit for dialogue only with top leaders of the ULFA.
However, the ULFA chairman in a statement e-mailed to the media, said the ULFA was yet to decide to dissolve the PCG as the objective for which it had been constituted was not yet achieved. "But the ULFA will not object if any of the PCG members want to leave the group on their own," the statement said.

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