Peace talks with the pro-talk faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom and two factions of National Democratic Front of Bodoland in Assam have begun. Home Ministry officials confirmed that the talks resumed on Thursday with former Intelligence Bureau director, Dineshwar Sharma chairing the same. However Home Ministry officials said that the charter of demands by the ULFA and NDFB would be kept confidential.
The meeting held on Thursday was attended by Ulfa chairman Arbinda Rajkhowa, Anup Chetia and other senior leaders of the outfit. Sources said that the ULFA has been insisting that the Constitution be amended to protect the rights and identity of indigenous people of Assam. Further the ULFA is supporting the demand to changing the cut-off for granting citizenship from the existing 1971 to 1951.
The peace talks had been put on hold due to the Supreme Court's impending judgment on a batch of petitions in which several citizens had sought 1951 as the cut-off year for citizenship of people residing in Assam against what it is now- 1971 according to the Assam Accord.
It may be recalled that Rajkhowa was arrested and deported from Bangladesh. After he landed in India, the initiative to talk peace was taken. The talks are aimed at resolving the conflict situation in Assam. However the leader of the other ULFA faction headed by Paresh Baruah refused to join the peace talks.