Guwahati (Assam) Jan 28 (ANI): At a time when the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA)'s Central Committee is making an effort to return to the mainstream, new videos released by commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah has created confusion over peace talks.
On January 21, Baruah, released fresh videos, which show him dancing to Bihu songs along with around hundred other cadres.
The videos were released at a time when the ULFA Central Committee is gearing up to hold talks with the Central Government.
Though the videos clearly indicate Barua's disinclination for talks, the Central and State Governments have kept their doors open.
The ULFA Central Committee leaders are currently reported to be in Nalbari village discussing the modalities for the talks.
"It is not to scare us; it is to pressurize the executives of central committee. It is to say that whatever is my (Paresh Baruah's) decision, don't go against it. Whatever decision I am taking, it will be beneficial for you to carry out my orders. It is to push the people to follow orders," said ULFA Secretary Jiten Dutta.
"They are trying to pressurize the executive committee of ULFA who are in Nalbari. Paresh Barua's threatening will not affect anyone from taking a decision in favour of the public of Assam," he added.
The Central Government has been working hard since the release of the top brass of the ULFA a year ago, attempting to bring the outfit to the negotiating table and to persuade Paresh Baruah to join the peace process.
As of now, the entire top brass of the ULFA is out on bail, including ULFA Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, Vice-Chairman Pradip Gogoi, Deputy Commander in Chief Raju Barua, Central Publicity Secretary Mithinga Daimari, Cultural Secretary Pranati Deka and Adviser Bhimkanta Buragohain, Finance secretary Sasha Choudhary and Foreign Secretary Chitrabon Hazarika.
It is expected that ULFA General Secretary Anup Chetia will also be extradited from Bangladesh before the first round of talks begin.
The people in Assam now want Paresh Baruah to join the peace talks so that there is a complete settlement of the Assam issue.
"Paresh Baruah has sent this video at a very right time, as just over a week ago, the chief of army staff (General V.K. Singh), had said on Army Day, that the ULFA is dormant and has additional battalions in Myanmar. The videos sent by Baruah have confirmed this stand. The peace process, which has been activated at the request of the Assam Government has suffered a major setback," said Anil Bhat, an expert.
"It (the videos) has created confusion in the state and the people are thinking what will happen. On the one hand, Arabinda Rajkhowa is carrying on about peace talks, and on the other, Paresh Baruah is displaying his strength," added Chetia, a local.
Though the ULFA is showing signs of holding talks with the government, militancy-affected families in Assam are demanding the prosecution of released ULFA leaders.
They claim that the released leaders are responsible for the decades-old violence in the state.
A sit-in protest demonstration was held in Guwahati under the aegis of "Forum for Terrorist Victims Families, Assam". The members of the victim's families from across Assam took part in the demonstration.
"The principal theme behind this protest is to request the government to put all the released leaders of ULFA on trial who have been involved in heinous crimes like killings, extortions and others," said Heman Bora, Advisor, Forum for Terrorist Victims Family, Assam. (ANI)