Ban on ULFA; Tribunal issues notices to Nagaland, Meghalaya

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) A Tribunal headed by Delhi HighCourt judge Mukta Gupta today issued notices to Nagaland andMeghalaya governments on the Centre''s plea seeking its nod toextend the ban on militant outfit United Liberation Front ofAsom (ULFA) by two more years.

"Issue fresh notices to the states of Nagaland andMeghalaya through their Chief Secretaries and they be directedto filed their affidavits," Justice Gupta said while fixingthe matter for further hearing on February 14.

The tribunal is hearing the plea of the Ministry of HomeAffairs (MHA) seeking its nod to extend the Government''snotification, issued on November 27, last year, to extend theban by two years on the militant outfit on the ground that ithas so far not abjured violence.

The panel, meanwhile, took the affidavits of the MHA andAssam government into the records.

The evidence by way of affidavits be filed by the partiesconcerned within a week so that the matter could be decided bythe end of March, Justice Gupta said.

"There is nobody present on behalf of the UnitedLiberation Front of Asom. Thirty days time has to be given tothe outfit to file their objection against the notification.,"the panel said.

Additional solicitor general A S Chandiok, appearingfor the Centre, informed the panel that the notices have beenpublished in various north-eastern states regarding thenotification on extension of ban on ULFA.

Earlier, the panel issued notices to the various stategovernments and had also sought responses from the bannedoutfit on the Centre''s notification.

The MHA had decided to re-impose the ban on the ULFA asan unlawful organisation on the ground that "the outfit is yetto abjure violence".

The ban, which was slapped in accordance with theUnlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, was first imposedin 1990. Since then, the order has been re-imposed every twoyears.

Recently, the outfit''s chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa,''foreign secretary'' Sasadhar Choudhury and ''finance secretary''Chitraban Hazarika have been released from jail in a bid toexplore the possibilities for talks with government.

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