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ULFA men hold 'secret' meet

Source: PTI
January 19, 2011 02:57 IST
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Top United Liberation Front of Asom leaders met at a 'secret' location in Assam to discuss the holding of an executive meeting prior to the proposed peace talks with the government but the group's elusive 'commander-in-chief' Paresh Baruah vowed to continue the struggle.

The rebel leaders, who are on bail, arrived in Assam to decide when its general council meeting would be held for chalking out the modalities for the talks, sources said.

Those present at the meeting were chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, vice-chairman Pradip Gogoi, deputy commander-in- chief Raju Baruah, foreign secretary Sashadhar Choudhury, finance secretary Chitrabon Hazarika, his wife and cultural secretary Pranati Deka and publicity secretary Mithinga Daimary.

The ULFA leaders felicitated the families of ULFA cadres killed in encounters with security forces and met members of the once dreaded 'strike force 709 battalion' to discuss the peace process, the sources said.

Meanwhile, in an email to the media, Paresh Baruah vowed to continue with the struggle for an independent Assam and said that there would be no compromise on the group's core demand of sovereignty.

"The government adopts dual tactics to exploit our resources.The government is buying time in the name of talks when at the same time it continues its exploitation of our resources. This is an old tactic of the government," the email claimed.

The email had an attachment of a photo of ULFA cadres with the caption 'mother prepare me for the battle'. Baruah also warned that ULFA would make its presence felt as a rejuvenated group. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said in Guwahati that he did not have any information about the meeting of the ULFA leadership in Nalbari. "But I have come to know that they plan to hold the general council meeting. Hopefully then the future course of action for the peace talks initiated by the government will be clear. We will have to wait. It is up to them when they meet for their general council and take a decision on coming for the talks," he told reporters. 

Gogoi said that Rajkhowa had sent a formal letter to him some time ago expressing willingness for talks with the government. Gogoi welcomed Rajkhowa's declaration to apologise for the 2004 Independence Day blast at Dhemaji which left several school children and women dead.

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