The anti-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Assam on Monday led 10 other militant groups based in the Northeast to call for boycott of Republic Day celebrations in the region and a general strike during 1.00 am to 5.30 pm to protest 'India's unrelenting colonial occupation of the region with the sole objective of exploiting its rich natural resources by gagging to people's voice for liberation from its clutches."
On behalf of these outfit, the anti-talks faction of the ULFA issued a statement calling for boycott of R-Day celebrations. The other outfits that joined the 'protest' include National Democratic Front of Bodoland (anti-talks), National Liberation Front of Tripura, Tripura People's Democratic Front and Coordination Committee of seven other groups in Manipur. That makes the number of total groups giving Republic Day boycott call 11.
These outfits have accused the government forces of resorting to 'human rights violation in the region through use of brutal force under the provisions of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958.'
In an oblique reference to on-going peace process with various other militant groups in the region, the joint statement of the groups says, "Under the mask of ceasefire, suspension of operation (SoO), home coming ceremonies (surrender of militants), military civic action programmes etc, the government is trying to cover up its covert military operations and put the blame on the revolutionaries. Under such circumstances, there is no way that we, the people of the region can enjoy equality, freedom and liberty like any other Indian. Freedom and independence is the only solution to the conflict as we can never be a part of the Indian mainstream."
The groups have stated that all trade and commerce activities, all forms of public entertainment and all kinds of public and private transportation must not operate in the region during the general strike on January 26.
However, emergency measures, essential services, media and religious activities are exempted from the purview of the general strike.