New Delhi, Dec 28, 2023, Special Correspondent
New Delhi, Dec 28: Raising hopes of bringing to an end decades of insurgency in Assam, a tripartite peace accord involving the pro-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), and the central and state governments will be inked here on Friday.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and more than a dozen top leaders of the pro-talks faction of the ULFA, headed by Arabinda Rajkhowa, will be present during the signing of the peace agreement.
Official explained that the accord will take care of a host of long-standing political, economic and social issues concerning Assam, besides providing cultural safeguards and land rights to the indigenous people.
However, the hardline faction of the ULFA, led by Paresh Baruah, will not be part of the agreement as he has been consistently rejecting the olive branch offered by the government.
Two top leaders of the Rajkhowa group -- Anup Chetia and Sashdhar Choudhary -- have been in the national capital since last week and gave the final touches to the peace agreement along with government interlocutors, sources in North Block said. Those who have been talking to the ULFA faction from the government side include Director of the Intelligence Bureau Tapan Deka and the government's advisor on the Northeast affairs A K Mishra.
The Rajkhowa-led ULFA faction had begun unconditional talks with the central government in 2011, despite strong opposition from hardline faction led by Paresh Baruah, who is believed to be residing at a place along China-Myanmar border.
The ULFA was formed in 1979 with the demand for a "sovereign Assam". Since then, it has been involved in subversive activities that led to the central government declaring it a banned outfit in 1990. The Rajkhowa faction joined peace talks with the government on September 3, 2011 after an agreement for Suspension of Operations (SoO) was signed between the ULFA, central and state governments.
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