The banned United Liberation Front of Asom on Friday gave a strong message to the government that it may be down off late because of the reverses it has suffered in Bangladesh and in the wake of arrest of so many of its top leaders, saying it is definitely not.
Hours after Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi offered 'safe passage' to all ULFA men at large to visit their families during ensuing 'magh bihu' or the post-harvest festival in Assam, the outfit rejected it.
Earlier in the day, Gogoi announced that his government was game for 'safe passage' to ULFA men as a goodwill gesture even as the government is trying to bring the outfit to the negotiation table through a section of top leaders including the chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa who have been let off from jail on bail.
However, it failed to cut ice with the section of the ULFA led by its 'commander in chief' Paresh Barua who is strongly opposed to any peace talks with the government unless the outfit's core demand for sovereignty of Assam is not in the agenda of discussion.
The banned outfit promptly e-mailed a statement to the media in the evening rejecting the offer of 'safe passage' saying that acceptance of such a gesture from the 'enemy' is against the 'revolutionary principles' of the ULFA which is focused on liberating Assam from the clutches of 'colonial Indian government'.
"It is a fact that the ULFA is passing through a crucial and difficult phase in its history because of enemy's conspiracy and betrayal by a section of comrades in arms, but it still can't stoop to the level of accepting offer of safe passage from the enemy. Safe passage offer is meant for dacoits and criminals not for 'freedom fighters and revolutionaries'," the ULFA statement issued by its central publicity cell manager Arunodoy Dahotia said.
The ULFA also called upon its chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa who was granted bail in all the cases against him by the designated court in Guwahati on Thursday, to guard against conspiracy of the 'enemy' and not to take any decision that would affect the revolution of the outfit for 'liberating Assam from the clutches of India.'