ULFA men hold ''secret'' meet, Paresh vows to continue struggle

Nalbari (Assam), Jan 18 (PTI) Top ULFA leaders todaymet at a ''secret'' location here to discuss the holding of anexecutive meeting prior to the proposed peace talks with thegovernment but the group''s elusive ''c-in-c'' Paresh Baruahvowed to continue the struggle.

The rebel leaders, who are on bail, arrived hereyesterday to decide when its general council meeting would beheld for chalking out the modalities for the talks, sourcessaid.

Those present at the meeting were ''chairman'' ArabindaRajkhowa, ''vice-chairman'' Pradip Gogoi, ''deputy ''commander-in-chief'' Raju Baruah, ''foreign secretary'' Sashadhar Choudhury,''finance secretary'' Chitrabon Hazarika, his wife and ''culturalsecretary'' Pranati Deka and ''publicity secretary'' MithingaDaimary.

The ULFA leaders felicitated the families of ULFAcadres killed in encounters with security forces and metmembers of the once dreaded ''strike force 709 battalion'' todiscuss the peace process, the sources said.

Meanwhile, in an email to the media, Paresh Baruahvowed to continue with the struggle for an independent Assamand said that there would be no compromise on the group''s coredemand of sovereignty.

"The government adopts dual tactics to exploit ourresources. Government is buying time in the name of talks whenat the same time it continues its exploitation of ourresources. This is an old tactic of the government," the emailclaimed.

The email had an attachment of a photo of ULFA cadreswith the caption ''mother prepare me for the battle''. Baruahalso warned that ULFA would make its presence felt as arejuvenated group.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said in Guwahatithat he did not have any information about the meeting of theULFA leadership in Nalbari.

"But I have come to know that they plan to hold thegeneral council meeting. Hopefully then the future course ofaction for the peace talks initiated by the government will beclear.

"We will have to wait. It is up to them when they meetfor their general council and take a decision on coming forthe talks," he told reporters.

He said that Rajkhowa had sent a formal letter to himsome time ago expressing willingness for talks with thegovernment.

Gogoi welcomed Rajkhowa''s declaration to apologise forthe 2004 Independence Day blast at Dhemaji which left severalschool children and women dead.

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