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Direct ULFA talk hope brightens

Written by: Staff

Guwahati, June 5: Hope of a direct talk between the ULFA and Union Government brightened as the Peoples Consultative Group (PCG) today indicated that the next meeting might be their last one with the Government.

The PCG is meeting here late tonight to iron out the differences among its members for a unified voice to be presented during talks with the Centre in the second week of this month.

''We have been selected by the ULFA from the civil society to do the ground breaking with the Union Government, which we did. It will be our third meeting and we do hope that both Union Government and ULFA would send enough positive signals for a direct talk. It can be held anywhere in the world,'' said PCG member Ajit Kumar Bhuyan, the Editor of the Assamese Daily ''Aji''.

All the members of the PCG, barring Mr Brajen Gogoi, are meeting today and would discuss threadbare the subjects to be discussed with the Centre.

On top of the agenda is securing the release of the jailed ULFA leader and recently arrested ULFA leader at West Bengal.

The PCG would also like to see the formal announcement of the ceasefire, which is keenly expected. According to intelligence source, the Union Government would trade ceasefire with the release of the four top jailed ULFA leaders.

The Union Government is putting the ULFA talks on the fast track mode and completely delinking the PMO from the process.

The source said since National Security Adviser M K Narayanan is preoccupied and his easy availability is also not a possibility, the Government has decided to entrust the entire responsibility with the Union Home Ministry so that developments can be fast paced.

According to peace imitator Mamoni Roysom Goswami, she would be meeting Mr M K Narayanan on Wednesday to brief the latter about the latest development Mr Rebati Phukan, senior member of the PCG, is expected to fly out tomorrow to brief Ms Goswami in New Delhi. ''I would have liked to see Mr Narnayana in the talk. Since he is there from the beginning, ''Ms Goswami said admitting that the ULFA talk process must be fast tracked.

Meanwhile, in a bid to clear all the hurdles for talks, the state government had officially informed that they would not slap any fresh case on the top four jailed ULFA leaders and had no problems in releasing them provided the Union Government agreed.

Similarly the Asom Police was also trying to get the custody of arrested ULFA leader Mrinal Hazarika. He was arrested from Siliguri and both Bengal and Asom Police were trying to be oneup manship on the ULFA leader.

The Asom police are likely to release him on bail after nabbing him. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who in abroad, said before leaving that bringing the outlawed ULFA to the negotiating table would be one of the top priorities of his new government.

''Holding direct talks between ULFA and the government will be my first priority so that lasting peace could be brought to Assam, '' Mr Gogoi told reporters here before leaving for London leading an Indian delegation.

In another related development, the Army too had put the court martial of its jawans on the fast track following the killing of villager Ajit Mahanta, which led to Kakapathar uprising and killing of eight more personnel.

The Asom Government sources confirmed everything possible had been done to prove the sincerity of the Asom Government for a direct talk with the ULFA. '' Perhaps they have also realised our sincerity and hence they have not disturbed anyone during the poll, '' he said.


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