"The Progress is Good": ULFA leader Anup Chetia on Talks with Govt
NEW DELHI: The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) has resumed talks with the central government in the capital. The ULFA leaders are in Delhi and expected to leave on Friday early morning.
The talks took place in New Delhi in the presence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, MoS Home Kiren Rijiju and other top home ministry officials.
A delegation of ULFA pro talk faction led by its chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa reached New Delhi on Sunday. The delegation first held talks with interlocutor PC Haldar before sitting with the Home Minister. Sources said tha the government is planning to make the Ulfa faction sign a draft agreement in view of the forthcoming Assam elections. However, the final agreement has still to be prepared.
This is the first round of talks where Anup Chetia is present. Chetia, the general secretary of ULFA was deported to the country from Bangladesh on last November. He spent 18 years in Bangladesh jail after he was arrested in Dhaka in 1997.
Speaking to The Citizen, Chetia said, “Well we are in the middle of the talks. The progress is so far going good. I hope we will reach somewhere at the end of it”.
ULFA-Pro Talk faction is in talks with the Government since 2011. The talks were initiated when the ULFA leaders apparent dropped the demand of sovereignty and were arrested at the Indo-Bangla border.
However, MoS Home Kiren Rijiju earlier this month showed reluctance for an accord with ULFA as he feels most demands raised by it were already included in the Assam Accord signed in 1985 between the central government and the agitating All Assam Students Union.
The central government was working for a truce with the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) since November last. The Ministry initiated a truce after the separatist organisation’s general secretary Chetia has been deported to India by Bangladesh.
Senior leaders of pro-talks ULFA faction said that, the home ministry has invited them for talks.
According to analysts, the NDA government is keen to sign the memorandum of settlement (MOS) with ULFA before the Assembly elections in the state due next month.
The prime objective of the pro-talks faction led by Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa was to bring back the jailed founder member of ULFA Anup Chetia.
The Citizen spoke to Dr M Amarjeet Singh, Associate Professor in Center for North East Studies and Policy Research of Jamia Millia Islamia college who said, “The initiative is certainly a positive step. However, the timings needs a relook. The state is going to polls and the talks or any kind of agreement could be initiated keeping the elections in mind. The political motives rarely brings in peace that is my concern.”