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ULFA SHUTS DOWN Assam before Sonia Gandhi's visit

Last updated on: May 26, 2012 15:00 IST

ULFA SHUTS DOWN Assam before Sonia Gandhi's visit

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Congress president and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday appealed to insurgent groups to give up violence and come forward for talks to help accelerate the current pace of socio-economic development in Assam.

Addressing a massive rally organised by the party, Gandhi said, "Because of the policy of dialogue adopted by the UPA government, almost all the major insurgent groups in Assam have come forward for peace talks with the government by giving up their arms. The few extremists groups which are still opposed to the dialogue should realise the futility of violent means and come forward for talks with the government to solve their problem."

The Congress president said that the party would remain indebted to for the tremendous faith imposed in it by the people of Assam.

Reportage: K Anurag in Guwahati

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Image: Congress president Sonia Gandhi with Assam CM Tarun Gogoi


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ULFA SHUTS DOWN Assam before Sonia Gandhi's visit

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"I am delighted to be in Assam once again and more delighted to be present on this momentous occasion of the first anniversary of the third consecutive Congress government in Assam. It has reflected the immense faith bestowed by the people of Assam on Congress party's policies and at the same time it has multiplied our responsibility to live up to the aspirations of the people. I congratulate Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and his team as well as Congress leaders and workers for making it possible," said Gandhi.

Meanwhile, the 12-hour bandh called by the anti-talks faction of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Assam in protest against the visit of Gandhi almost paralysed the state.

Deserted streets awaited Gandhi when she arrived at 12 noon to grace the anniversary bash of the Congress government in Assam led by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

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Image: The deserted streets of Guwahati


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ULFA SHUTS DOWN Assam before Sonia Gandhi's visit

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The state Congress government is celebrating the completion of its first year in office in its third consecutive term since 2001.

All business establishments, banks and financial institutions and education institutions in Assam have remained shut because of the bandh. Most vehicles stayed off the roads.

Defying the bandh call of the ULFA, thousands of Congress workers gathered at the venue, much to the relief of the party leaders.

The stadium and its adjoining areas were converted into a fortress with armed police units deployed at the entry and exit gates and other parts of the stadium to ensure fool-proof security.

A team from the elite National Security Guards arrived in Guwahati on Friday to supervise the security arrangements.

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Image: The deserted streets of Guwahati


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