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Assam: Govt to sign ceasefire pact with ULFA

By K Anurag
August 30, 2011 18:46 IST
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A formal ceasefire agreement between the pro-talks faction of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Assam led by its 'chairman' Arabinda Rajkhowa, the Centre and the Assam Government is slated to be inked when ULFA leaders meet government representatives in New Delhi on September 3, according to an official source in Guwahati.

The pro-talks faction of the ULFA had announced unilateral ceasefire on July 13 this year to pave the way for the outfit's submission of its charter of demands to the Government of India on August 5. However, a formal ceasefire agreement needs to be inked for initiation of dialogue on the issues raised by the ULFA in its charter of demands.

Once the formal ceasefire agreement is signed and ground rules of the truce are finalised, ULFA members are expected to move to designated camps and their weapons will be kept under double lock in designated camps and one of the keys of the lock will be with the administration. Nine designated camps are being set up in different districts of Assam to accommodate the ULFA members at the expense of the government for the period of peace talks.

The ULFA faction submitted its charter of demands to the government proposing to hold negotiation in 12
broad groupings. They have dropped the outfit's core demand -- 'sovereignty of Assam'.

The ground rules of ceasefire with the ULFA faction would be in line with the ones already in force in respect of other militants groups in ceasefire including the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Progressive), Dima Halam Daogah and United People's Democratic Solidarity etc.

Meanwhile, the strategic group of the counter-insurgency Unified Command in its meeting held in Guwahati on Monday discussed in detail the challenge of keeping a close tab on observance of ceasefire ground rules by the ULFA cadres once the truce is formalized. The security forces are apparently concerned about the presence of ULFA cadres all over the state, unlike other militant groups in truce, and the challenge posed by it to ensure observance of ceasefire ground rules by them.

The ceasefire with ULFA would be spread over virtually the entire state while in case of other tribal militant groups like the DHD,UPDS, NDFB (P) the ceasefire is basically operational within a district where the militants have dominant presence.

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