Guwahati, Jan 1 (ANI): Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi expressing his delight over the release of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, on Saturday said that he hopes for the beginning of peace talks between the two sides.
"I am happy about his (Arabinda Rajkhowa) release. And with this a message is also given that with peace talks the matter could be resolved. And this is a good indication that we are receiving, by which our peace talks can soon begin," said Gogoi.
Gogoi further stated that the state government would not wait for Ulfa commander-in-chief Paresh Barua, but is welcome to join the peace talks.
"We won't wait for anyone. We won't be waiting for Paresh Barua but we will keep the doors open for him whenever he comes back to have peace talks with us. It is not that if he doesn't come the peace talks won't take place," he added.
Earlier today, Arabinda Rajkhowa was released from jail, a year after being nabbed by Bangladesh security agencies and handed over to the Indian authorities.
Rajkhowa along with ULFA deputy commander-in-chief Raju Baruah was captured in Bangladesh and handed over to India earlier this year.
"There is no divide amongst ULFA leaders. We are all ready for talks. Our major demand is we want all ULFA leaders in Bangladesh to be released soon," said Rajkhowa after his release.
The special TADA court, which heard his bail plea on Thursday, had deferred the hearing thrice earlier, as the court had sought reports from the home and political department in this regard.
The TADA court released Rajkhowa after the Assam government did not oppose his bail application.
ULFA's general secretary Chitraban Hazarika and foreign secretary Sasha Chaudhury are also expected to get bail soon. Rajkhowa has been granted bail just ahead of proposed peace talks with ULFA.
Most top ULFA leaders including ULFA ideologue Bhimakanta Buragohain, vice-chairman Pradip Gogoi, publicity secretary Mithinga Daimary, cultural secretary Pranati Deka and deputy commander-in-chief Raju Barua have been already released on bail. (ANI)