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ULFA want peaceful political solution to insurgency in India's N-E

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Guwahati, India, March 8, IRNA
The outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) Thursday reiterated the outfit was seeking a political solution to the vexed insurgency problem in India's northeastern state of Assam through peace talks.

"Let us make it very clear that we are carrying out an armed struggle out of compulsion. But on principle we want a peaceful political solution. This is a stark reality," ULFA Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa said in a statement.

This is the third such statement in recent weeks since the ULFA offered peace talks with the central government.

"But we are sure the central government is only seeking peace talks instead of a political solution to the problem," the rebel leader said.

"We need to be cautious not to fall in such a trap."

The ULFA, fighting for an independent Assamese homeland since 1979, last week offered to hold talks with New Delhi if the government gives them a written commitment.

"We urge the Indian government to pave the way for direct talks by giving a written statement that it would hold talks with us on the issue of restoration of Assam's sovereignty, provide us with information on our comrades who are in the custody of Indian and Bhutanese forces, and release our jailed central committee leaders," ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa said in an earlier statement.

During the first round of talks in Oct 2005 with the ULFA-chosen People's Consultative Group (PCG), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in no uncertain terms that the government was ready to discuss "all issues," a statement the rebel leadership welcomed.

But the preliminary talks were deadlocked after three rounds of negotiations.

The ULFA went on a killing spree and bombings since then with the government resuming a massive military offensive, although the operations have failed to yield the desired results with the rebels sneaking back to bases in Myanmar or continuing to mingle with the local masses.


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