ULFA-Centre talks to start from November 13

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Guwahati, Nov 12: The Centre will meet the key negotiators of the ULFA tomorrow for another round of talks to restore peace after the recent violence in Upper Asom.

''We are meeting National Secretary Advisor M K Naraynanan tomorrow,'' peace initiator Dr Indira Goswami said over phone from New Delhi. She would be accompanied by Reboti Phukan, the other peace initiator. Mr Phukan is the key person in the peace talks as he is ULFA C-in-C Paresh Barua's friend and has direct contacts with the ULFA top brass.

ULFA sources said the next three days would be critical as the militant organisation might respond to talks once again if the Centre formally invites them.

''The ULFA has regrouped itself in a major way. They are indulging in violence in Upper Asom, '' a senior police officer, in Upper Asom, said.

Army had killed a top ULFA militant in Tinsukia recently and the ULFA had also blown up a crude pipeline of Oil India Limited(OIL) near Tengakhat in Upper Asom.

The police official cited some of the recent incidents of violence masterminded by the ULFA like the attack on the Nagaon Superintendent of Police's residence, CRPF patrol party at Sadiya and pipeline blast at Tengakhat. ''The worst is that the ULFA now knows how to minimise the loss of it's cadres. We are not being able to gun down more than two militants at a time'' a military official from Pengeri said.

''We are hopeful that a solution will be worked out before I come back to Guwahati,'' Ms Goswami said. She is returning to Guwahati to pursue literary activities after spending almost three decades in New Delhi. For the past one and half years Ms Goswami had been relentlessly working for the peace process in Asom.

The peace process did not take off last time after several rounds of talks between the ULFA and the Centre. The Centre had sought a written commitment from the ULFA and the organisation in turn sought release of five of it's top leaders from jail.


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