Top Headlines

Centre agrees to meet all demands of pro-talk ULFA

The Centre has agreed in principle to fulfill all demands of ULFA since they are found to be genuine. Instructions have been issued to give the peace settlement with the Rajkhowa group a fil shape. The peace agreement with ULFA can take place at any time — Kiren Rijiju 

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, April 7: The Centre has agreed in principle to concede to all demands of the pro-talk faction of ULFA led by Arabinda Rajkhowa even as talks with all major militant groups of the Northeast are in the fil stages. 

“The Centre has agreed in principle to fulfill all demands of ULFA since they are found to be genuine. Instructions have been issued to give the peace settlement with the Rajkhowa group a fil shape. The peace agreement with ULFA can take place at any time,” Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju told reporters on Saturday morning.

The pro-talks faction of ULFA comprises most of the senior leaders who had come overground in the last eight or nine years, and the list includes Anup Chetia, Sasha Choudhury, Mril Hazarika, Chitrabon Hazarika, Raju Barua and Prati Deka, among others. The self-styled commander-in-chief of ULFA, Paresh Barua, is still elusive and leading the anti-talk faction of the outfit.

Rijiju, who was speaking to reporters at Atal Behari Vajpayee Bhawan in the city, which is the State BJP headquarters, said the Centre’s talks with most of the major militant groups of the Northeast are on the right track.  “The progress is being reviewed on a case-to-case basis, and the talks are in fil stages,” he said.

Responding to the ga peace talks, where the framework agreement came in for criticism from various quarters because the content was allegedly kept in dark from the public domain, Rijiju said many people did not understand the framework agreement. The Centre had signed a framework agreement for the settlement of the ga issue with the Isak-Muivah faction of the tiol Socialist Council of galand (NSCN-IM) in 2015.

Rijiju said that in the framework agreement with NSCN(IM), the issue of sovereignty and some other serious issues, which were part of the ga agenda, were dropped. “Talks are going on according to the Indian Constitution,” he said.

Rijiju said the Centre “is committed to a clear, tangible solution”, and pointed out that Prime Minister rendra Modi, during his visit to galand in the run-up to the elections in the State, had spoken about a solution in a few months.

He said the talks with ga groups are on for a political solution and “not one inch” of territorial integrity of other States will be compromised in the process.

Rijiju spoke about the government’s special development packages for border areas, but steered clear of a question on increased Chinese aggression, saying, “It is too sensitive an issue to comment on.”