Guwahati, Nov 25: The ULFA has demanded the release of its general secretary Anup Chetia so that he can participate in the peace talks with the Union Government.
Chetia, who was arrested in Bangladesh, was recently deported to India and is currently in judicial custody.
Chetia a key figure in the ULFA has become crucial for the peace talks and the ULFA has made it clear that unless he is involved there shall be no further discussions.
This was a demand put forth by a delegation of the ULFA which met with the Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi who is reviewing the negotiations with the ULFA.
Chetia needs to be part of discussions:
The ULFA has made it clear that unless and until Chetia is released, there cannot be peace talks. ULFA in an official statement said that there is a need to accommodate Chetia in the peace talks. Without him there cannot be a political discussion, the statement also added.
The Indian Government is keen in ensuring that the peace talks do not fail. When Chetia was brought down to India, there was a clear indication that he would be part of the peace process.
The government now has decided to further examine the demand by the ULFA and would look for ways to accommodate Chetia in the negotiations.
Can Chetia be released?
The million dollar question is whether Chetia, who faces cases in India, can be released. This would be a catch-22 situation for the government.
However, the government can hope that he is granted bail by a court so that he could join the peace negotiations.
While the government is interested in striking peace with the ULFA, it cannot come across as too weak either.
The government has taken some time to decide on the next course of action and would make it clear when there are another round of talks to be held in December.
Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said the Centre is expecting a breakthrough. We hope that a solution could be found soon," he said.