Chidambaram's peace talks appreciated by rebels

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Guwahati, May 29 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram's suggestions for taking the peace talks with rebels in Assam forward has been welcomed by some of these groups, including the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).

Chidamabaram has, however, said that the onus for initiating the next round of peace talks lies with the Assam Government led by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

Chidambaram reviewed the law and order situation in Assam with Gogoi and the Unified Command earlier this week, and at the conclusion of the deliberations, praised the security forces for their efforts in reducing insurgent-related violence.

Chief Minister Gogoi, has said that a cabinet decision has been taken to start the peace process even if ULFA chief Paresh Baruah does not join.

He has reiterated that he is hopeful about Baruah coming for the talks, but made clear that the wait would not be indefinite.

Baruah seems to have lost the support of jailed ULFA leaders.

ULFA vice-chairman Pradip Gogoi says the Assamese have appreciated the central and state governments for their recent moves to initiate peace talks.

However, the ULFA leadership is yet to take a decision regarding participation or non-participation.

The timing of the state government's decision has, however, raised the general public and the political parties curiosity.

Dilip Saikia, general secretary of the BJP's Assam's unit, says the state government's decision is welcome, but past experience has shown how political mileage was gained in the name of talks.

Noni Gopal Mahanta, a professor of political science at Guwahati University, said:. We can't wait for Paresh Baruah if he doesn't come, its good if he comes honestly.

"On the other hand, the AGP wants talks if peace has to be ensured," he added. (ANI)

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