ULFA leaders set to meet PM

Monday, February 14, 2011

NEW DELHI - A delegation of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for a courtesy call Monday evening, days after they initiated talks with the central government to end 30 long years of insurgency in Assam.

An eight-member ULFA team, headed by its chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, will meet Manmohan Singh at his 7 Race Course Road official residence, an official said.

The meeting, which the official said would be “a kind of introductory” exercise, follows the first round of formal peace talks between ULFA and government representatives last week, held more than three decades after the outfit was formed in 1979.

The team also met Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Home Secretary G.K. Pillai last week.

The two sides have decided to form a seven-member core group, under Home Secretary G.K. Pillai, to take the peace process forward.

The group will discuss the designated camps, surrender policy, deposit of arms and other issues for maintaining peace in the state.

It will have the joint secretary (northeast) as its coordinator and will comprise three ULFA members and two representatives each of the state and central governments.

ULFA, one of the biggest rebel outfits in the tea and oil-rich region of Assam, has fought for an independent homeland for ethnic Assamese since 1979.

At least 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have died in Assam in the fight between government forces and various rebel groups.

Filed under: Terrorism

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