- NET Web Desk
The Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday appealed the proscribed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to not call any “bandhs” on the forthcoming Republic Day event on January 26 and referred the “bandh culture” responsible for ruining its image.
Sarma also informed that he has requested the Centre to complete the ongoing “peace parleys” with the pro-talks faction of ULFA before beginning dialogue with Paresh Barua-led ULFA (Independent).
Addressing the mediapersons, after a two-day conference of Superintendent of Polices (SPs) on Tuesday, Sarma asserted “The Assam government is not dealing with the pro-talks faction of ULFA. The Centre is directly in touch with them. But I have put an informal request with the Union government to complete parleys with that faction before beginning dialogue with ULFA(I). If there are too many factions of the same outfit in talks, like in Nagaland, it becomes too complex.”
The concerned statement comes a day after the leaders of the ULFA pro-talks faction alleged that the Centre was insincere in resolving their issues, and shared that “not much progress” has been made in the peace talks, since the Narendra Modi government came to power.
“The ULFA issue is a complex one which has extended over a long period of time and caused many casualties. Both sides have compulsions which is delaying a resolution to it,” he said.
Hailing the ULFA(I) for not calling a bandh on Independence Day last year, and being in a ceasefire since May, Sarma also appealed to the outfit to refrain from calling a bandh on Republic Day.
According to PTI report, CM Sarma after taking oath on May 10, had appealed the ULFA(I) to come forward for peace talks and resolve the 42-year old insurgency in the state.
On the demand for withdrawal of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from the state, Sarma said, “There will be some rationalizing in its enforcement when it comes for review. But we cannot expect a complete withdrawal at once. This debate will come to an end very soon,” he said.
The current term of AFSPA in Assam will end on February 28. Termed as “draconian law” by political parties of Northeast India, AFSPA was imposed in Assam in November 1990 and has been extended every six months since then after a review by the state government.
Its worthy to note that demand for AFSPA repeal renewed after the tragic incident of December 4, 2021, when innocent civilians identified as coal-miners were gunned down by security forces in Mon district of Nagaland. The unfortunate incident is basically the repercussion of botched army operation, which mistook the civilians as insurgents from the Yung Aung faction of the banned militant outfit – National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K).