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Assam: Himanta Sarma says cannot compromise on sovereignty issue with ULFA(I)

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Guwahati, Jan 2: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said he cannot compromise on the “sovereignty issue” with ULFA(I).

Talking to media persons, CM Sarma said, “The channel of communication with the ULFA(I) is not an issue. The bone of contention is the sovereignty issue with which I can’t compromise. I have taken oath to protect the integrity and sovereignty then how I can compromise with it.”

“On the other hand, ULFA(I) chief Paresh Baruah has been demanding sovereignty and he has stuck with the sovereignty demand. Due to irreconcilable difference, the matter has not (been) solved. But from our side we are taking all possible steps to solve the ULFA (I) problem,” CM Sarma stated.

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He further added, “Sporadic incidents has been taken place when the ULFA(I) cadres try to enter Assam and police try to intercept them. No major violence (have been) reported after we have opened our communication with ULFA(I) chief Paresh Baruah. The law and order of the state is maintained and no such deterioration has been taken place.”

Commenting on arms and ammunition recovery in the state, he said the security forces recovered the highest number of arms in the state’s history. ”Even during the peak of ULFA-I, we were unable to recover so many arms. All this has been possible due to the silent operations, silent actions initiated by the security personnel,” he said.

CM Sarma said, “The people of Assam have a larger role to play to solve the decade old insurgency problem.”

A pro-talk ULFA group led by Arbinda Rajkhowa was formed in 2009. Since then, they have been negotiating with the Centre, however it hasn’t yielded much result so far. In 2009, the Bangladesh government handed over the Rajkhowa faction of ULFA to Indian security forces, leading to a start in the peace talks.

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