No ceasefire agreement with ULFA: Tarun Gogoi

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Guwahati, Jun 18 (UNI) Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today dismissed reports that the government had signed ceasefire agreement with any faction of the outlawed ULFA, a day after ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa denied the reports on truce by a section of media.

The government has not entered into any truce with the ULFA or any of its factions, Mr Gogoi told reporters here.

He, however, refused to inform whether any 'battalion' of the ULFA had sent feelers for talks or was negotiation on with any such faction.

The Reports had appeared in a section of local media on Monday that the '28th battalion' of the ULFA, its main strike force operative in eastern Assam, had signed a truce with the Central government.

It was denied by the ULFA chairman in an e-mail and by the 'commandant' of the battalion yesterday, stating that any decision on cessation of hostilities would be taken collectively by the top leadership.

Mr Gogoi reiterated the four pre-conditions set by the government for talks with any outfit in the last meeting of the Unified Command, presided over by the Chief Minister.

The conditions include deposition of all arms and ammunition and that all cadres must stay at the designated camps and no donations would be received by the groups, with the government providing the expenditure and training to the cadres to find employment later.

Moreover, all talks have to be held directly with the top leaders without involvement of any third party, and the discussion should be within the ambit of the Indian Constitution.

The Chief Minister said the government had not emphasised on the strict adherence to these ground rules while signing previous ceasefire agreements, which had led to major problems with several outfits like the NDFB, UPDS and even the ULFA, when it was in ceasefire.

The NDFB was collecting money in the name of donation as no clause banning it was included in the truce agreement, he added.

On the killing of important ULFA leaders in encounters in the recent months, Mr Gogoi said, ''There is no special instruction or change in the counter-insurgency operation to target the leaders now.'' To a poser whether the ULFA's strength had diminished after continued success of security forces he said, ''There has been success but the outfit still has some strength.'' Replying to allegations of human rights violation during counter-insurgency operations, the Chief Minister said, ''People should approach the Human Rights Commission whenever they feel there is any violation.


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