Govt. awaiting a response from ULFA for talks: Pillai

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Shillong (Meghalaya), June 4 (ANI): Union Home Secretary G K Pillai on Friday said the Central Government is awaiting a response from the banned United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) outfit after which the dialogue process might evolve.

"I understand that the Governing Council of the ULFA was held inside jail a few days back. They are discussing. We are awaiting a response, and as the response comes, the dialogue process will evolve," said Pillai.

The members of the banned ULFA outfit appealed to the government to free its jailed leaders, so as to take a final decision on the proposed peace talks.

Welcoming the Assam Government's decision on holding peace talks, the outfit's Publicity Secretary Mithinga Daimary, said in a statement that his organisation never favoured a negotiation without its leader Paresh Baruah.

The development came after Union Home Minister P Chidambaram authorized Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to initiate the dialogue.

Gogoi has reiterated that his government is ready to hold a dialogue with the ULFA leaders on all issues within the ambit of the Indian Constitution.

"The process has been initiated by the Government of Assam. Let them (ULFA) say. The process cannot be rushed," Pillai said. A majority of members of the ULFA's Governing Council are there. A couple of them are not there .We will welcome them for the talks," he added.

Pillai further said the people of Assam want a dialogue to resolve the issue.If leaders outside indulging in violence listen to the voice of Assam, they will come forward for talks," he said.

"Leaders outside will realize the futility of violence which is causing suffering to the people of Assam. If they are for the people of Assam, which they pretend to be, they will come forward for talks, if not today, then tomorrow," Pillai added.

Earlier on May 28, ULFA Publicity Secretary Mithinga Daimary and Vice Chairman Pradip Gogoi, who were recently released on bail, had met Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa at the Guwahati Central Jail.

The meeting reportedly discussed the Government's peace talk offer. (ANI)

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