Himanta Biswa Sarma: Assam will lead peacefully after proper discussion with ULFA (I) chief Paresh Baruah

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma while speaking at the 74th Republic Day festivities held at the Veterinary Field in Khanapara on Thursday said that United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent)’s Commander-in-Chief Paresh Baruah will only come for an official meeting with the government after the banned armed militant group returns to Assam.

Urging ULFA-I cadres and other rebel groups to return back to the mainstream and work towards the development of the state and the nation, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the period when Paresh Baruah took up arms and formed the rebel group and the state now has come afar in the path of widespread development. “There is a vast difference between the present Assam and the period when ULFA-I Chief Paresh Baruah took up arms and formed the rebel group. The state has developed widely in terms of economically, socially and technologically. I urge all the cadres of ULFA-I to join the mainstream and work together towards the development of the state and bring peace”.

It should be noted that on January 21, the ULFA (I) faction headed by fugitive “commander-in-chief” Paresh Baruah reiterated his refusal to bow before the government, declared that it had no interest in engaging in a composite dialogue with the government of India, and vowed to continue its revolution until it had achieved its stated objective of restoring Assam’s sovereignty.

According to Paresh Baruah, the ULFA (I) is prepared for a referendum on the sovereignty issue and that only native Assamese speakers should take part in the discussion.

Notably, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma claimed on January 20 that the Assam administration is in contact with the ULFA (I) leadership either directly or indirectly in an effort to bring them to the negotiating table.

CM Sarma said that efforts are on to bring ULFA (I) led by Paresh Baruah to talks with the government,“We have told people about the issues we have with ULFA. However, despite that, we are directly and indirectly in touch with the ULFA (I) leadership. I am hopeful of resolving this issue within this (five-year) tenure,” Sarma said.

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