Assam Government Ready For The Talks With Paresh Baruah-Led ULFA-I, Says Minister


(MENAFN- IANS) Guwahati, Feb 12 (IANS) The Assam government is ready for talks with Paresh Baruah-led United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I), minister Pijush Hazarika said on Monday.

"Even after signing a peace agreement with the pro-talks camp, the Barua-led faction has not entered into negotiations," Hazarika told the Assembly in response to a query regarding the recently inked tripartite peace accord with the ULFA.

"After the ULFA broke into two factions, the group headed by Anup Chetia and Arabinda Rajkhowa came forward for negotiations and a peace agreement was signed. The second faction, led by Paresh Barua, has renamed itself as ULFA-I and has not yet entered into negotiations with the government," he said.

"We feel that peace will be further strengthened in the state if ULFA-I comes to the table for talks. The government has been urging Paresh Barua to come for talks."

Opposition Congress member Kamalakshya Dey Purkayastha raised the issue, expressing concerns about the peace agreement's usefulness given that one of the factions was not a signatory.

On December 29 last year, in New Delhi, the pro-talks ULFA inked the agreement with the central and state governments.

In response to a query from another Congress legislator Bharat Chandra Narah, Hazarika informed the House that the peace accord containing the ULFA consists of twelve clauses. These include provisions pertaining to political demands, reservations in employment and education, six communities designated as Scheduled Tribes, illegal infiltration, and issues pertaining to identity, culture, and history, among other things.

The minister stated that a joint committee made up of ULFA, state, and Central government representatives will periodically check on how the various clauses of the peace agreement are being implemented.

--IANS

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