Free yourself from ISI clutches, Gogoi tells ULFA

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Guwahati, June 30 : Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday urged the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) to free themselves from the clutches of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and come to the negotiation table.

"The people at large want that talks should take place and thus the ULFA should also respond positively," Gogoi said.

"The ULFA till now has been serving the interests of the ISI and anti-India forces with their top leaders sheltered in Bangladesh. The Civil society should intervene and force them (ULFA) to come for negotiations," Gogoi said.

Gogoi also rejected their demand for sovereignty, and added that the outfit "wanted to make Assam a land of rich people where the ordinary individuals would stay as second class citizens".

He further added that since 1990 over 13,000 ULFA cadres had surrendered, and now their strength was only 1,500.

"Our doors are still open, and they (ULFA) should sit for talks," he said.

He also welcomed the recent annoucement of a ceasefire by one battalion of the ULFA, and added "We want more and more cadres of the outfit to come out for negotiations."

ULFA was started as a revolutionary movement on April 7, 1979. It is a militant group from Assam which seeks to establish a sovereign Assam via an armed struggle.

The Government of India had banned the organization in 1990 and classifies it as a terrorist group.

ANI

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