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ULFA splits; new faction favours autonomy

K Anurag in Guwahati | January 04, 2009 20:49 IST

Making the split in the proscribed United Liberation Front of Asom official, the pro-talks faction of the outfit has given up the demand for sovereignty and announced its readiness to hold talks with the central government within the framework of the Constitution.

The faction said it favours autonomy over sovereignty.

After failing to convince the top leaders of the ULFA, who are suspected to be based in Bangladesh, to come forward for unconditional talks with the government in response to the popular opinion in the state, the pro-talks faction of the outfit has decided to breakaway from the ULFA led by fugitive commander-in-chief Paresh Barua and chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa.

The pro-talks faction comprising Alfa and Charlie companies of the 28th battalion of the ULFA had declared unilateral ceasefire on June 24 to launch a campaign to mount public pressure on the ULFA s top leaders to hold peace negotiation with the government. They resorted to massive campaign to mobilise public opinion for peace talks to find a solution to the vexed problem.

The members of the pro-talks faction are now lodged in designated camps run by the state government.

Leader of the pro-talks faction, Mrinal Hazarika said, "We are ready to sit for dialogue with the Government of India within the framework of the Indian Constitution. Instead of sovereignty, we will now fight for autonomy of the state. We have our charter of demands ready."

He said the pro-talks faction's appeal to ULFA leadership to hold dialogue with the government had failed to evoke any positive response and they were forced to snap all their connections with the banned outfit from now onwards. The group in ceasefire will be known as ULFA (pro-talks) groups from now on, he added.

ULFA, which was formed in April 1979, had expelled its pro-talks faction leaders including Mrinal Hazarika and Jiten Dutta from the primary membership of the outfit for resorting to unwarranted unilateral truce with Government of India.


Ultras trigger blast under goods train

Suspected militants belonging to the Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel Garlosa) commonly known as the Black Widows triggered a blast on the railway track between Harangajao and Mailongdisa railway stations in North Cachar Hill district of Central Assam on Sunday, derailing three bogies of a goods train.

A source in Northeast Frontier Railway said the goods train was proceeding to Badarpur Railway station in South Assam from Lumding junction in Central Assam through the meter gauge hill section.

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