Thursday, June 13, 2024
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ULFA, Centre discuss charter of demands

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New Delhi: The Government on Tuesday held a crucial round of talks with the banned ULFA in a bid to find a lasting solution to Assam’s three-decade-old insurgency problem.

The top leadership of ULFA discussed with government representatives various aspects of the group’s ‘charter of demands’, which sought amendment in the Constitution for finding “meaningful” ways to protect the rights and identity of the indigenous people of Assam.

The charter of demands includes constitutional amendments to give Assam greater control over its natural resources, revenue generation, participation in the planning process, ensuring a secure demographic situation, besides accelerated and balanced development.

Observance of ground rules, signed by both sides, surrender of arms and ammunition and a total halt of operations by security forces against the pro-talk faction were other key issues which were be discussed, official sources said.

ULFA has entered into formal peace talks with the Government after a 32-year-old violent insurgency movement.

The six-member ULFA team, led by its ‘chairman’ Arabinda Rajkhowa, and representatives of Central and Assam governments, including Interlocutor P C Halder and Home Secretary R K Singh, deliberated in detail on various aspects of the ground rules of the Suspension of Operations.

The meeting lasted one and a half hours. The next round of meeting will be held next month.

On September 3, ULFA had signed the ‘Suspension of Operation’ pact with the government.

Rajkhowa led an eight-member team during introductory talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram in February.

ULFA’s elusive ‘commander-in-chief’ Paresh Baruah is still opposed to any dialogue with the government till ‘sovereignty’ issue is not on the table. (UNI)

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