Citizens' forum holds peace conclave in Assam

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Guwahati, May 6 (ANI): The newly floated citizen's forum in Assam organised a daylong conclave to push forward the deadlocked peace process in the state.

Though the government has already invited the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) for a dialogue, the outfit is holding up the process, given the excuse that it has no consensus. Sanmilita Jatiya Abhivartan', a state-level convention in Guwahati held to pave way for talks between the Centre and the ULFA, was hopeful of pushing through the peace process.

In spite of opposition from ULFA leader Paresh Barua, around 1500 delegates from more than 90 organizations and bodies drawn from all over the State participated in the meet. Among the important resolutions passed at the forum's conclave is one for release of all jailed ULFA leaders to enable them to hold their general council meeting to take a decision regarding peace talks with the government. "If someone is not interested to come forward, even then the Government should try their level best to bring them in the discussion altogether on the discussion table," said Chandranohan Patowary, President, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).

"We want that the upcoming generation doesn't see all this Insurgency and counter-insurgency violence and such," said Deepali Phookan, Assam "We are hoping for a peaceful situation in the state of Assam and the burning problems get solved. There should be talks between the government and the ULFA," said Surajeet, AssamBarring Paresh Baruah, the entire top brass of the outfit is in jail - the imprisoned leaders include Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, Dy. Commander-in-chief Raju Baruah and many more.

Both the central and the state government's had earlier rejected holding talks with the ULFA on the issue of sovereignty.

Reacting to the conclave, the Assam Chief Minister said that government is ready for peace talks, but ULFA must take some initiative.

"Some scholars believe that there should a discussion on sovereignty and some are against to it. But, our words are clear that we have to be with India and we don't want to discuss sovereignty. Assam is part of India and this relation is since the ancient days," said State Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

The volatile situation in Assam has led to social and economic instability since 30 years.he consensus today is for peace and development in the region and outfits like the ULFA must understand this. By Peter Todd Alex (ANI)

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