ULFA strikes back with string of violent activities

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Guwahati, Mar 10 (UNI) Four Hindi speaking people were shot dead by the ULFA cadres at Tengakhat in Dibrugarh district last night, official sources said today.

A group of militants came to a brick kiln near Udalguri tea estate between Chabua and Tengakhat around 2230 hours and killed four workers there.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi informed the Assembly, meanwhile, that the State government had kept its doors open for talks with the banned ULFA and the outfit should reciprocate by coming forward without any pre-conditions.

''While there can be no discussion on sovereignty, the ULFA issue has to be resolved politically. We are open for talks without any pre-conditions,'' Mr Gogoi said while replying to the debate on the Governor's address.

Accusing the ULFA of taking undue advantage of the government's unilateral ceasefire made earlier, Mr Gogoi said the outfit used the government's goodwill gesture only to regroup and collect arms and then indulge in acts of violence, often targeting innocent people.

''The people know who is sincere and who is insincere,'' he added.

The Chief Minister also accused the NDFB (National Democratic Front of Bodoland) of not providing the government with its charter of demands for carrying forward the talks.

Asserting that the people had confidence in his government, Mr Gogoi said despite many ills plaguing the state, it was gradually making progress on different fronts.

''The law and order situation is better than before, the economy is improving and investments have started coming. While I do not claim that complete normalcy is prevailing, the state is moving ahead with the people's participation,'' he said.

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