Open for talks with ULFA: Gogoi

Posted By: Staff
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New Delhi, Dec 16 (ANI): Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has said his government is open for talks with the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) but the banned outfit will be dealt firmly if it continues to indulge in senseless killing of innocent people.

Talking to reporters here on Tuesday after meeting with Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Gogai said: "We are keeping the doors open for talks; at the same time we are keeping our forces on alert all the time to be more and more vigilant to deal with more firmly if you (ULFA) go on indulging in such senseless killings."

However, he mentioned that the government is not in hurry to start the dialogue process with the ULFA until the insurgent group shuns violence and gives up its demand for sovereignty.

"If you prepare to come for talks, abjure violence, not insist on sovereignty, definitely if you are prepared for it. But at times we are not really in a hurry. At the moment we are not very in hurry...Government of India also, by and large, will agree, we are not very in hurry to go forward. We want other leaders should also come forward so that it will be an in such a way so that it come to a final settlement," he said.

He further said that without the help of the central government it would be impossible for the Assam government to nab the commander-in-chief of ULFA Paresh Baruah, who is believed to be hiding somewhere along Myanmar-China border.

Earlier in the month, ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, who was underground for around two decades, was arrested in Bangladesh and brought to India.

In less than a month, the ULFA has been dealt a body blow with the arrest of the group's top leaders including Rajkhowa Raju Baruah, Chitraban Hazarika, Sacha Chaudhary. Only the group"s military commander, Paresh Barua, who police believe to be in hiding somewhere along Myanmar-China border, still remains elusive.

The ULFA, which demands independence for the tea and oil-rich Assam, is biggest insurgent group, running a three-decade-old campaign that has killed some 30,000 people.

Though the ULFA"s military strength has waned, it still has capacity to organise attacks. At least six people were killed and 40 wounded in two bomb blasts in Assam last month. (ANI)

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