Peace Iniatiatives for the Hills

The Centre’s representative for peace talks with militant outfits in Assam, P.C. Haldar, will embark on a two-day visit to Haflong and Diphu to get a feel of the prevailing mood at the two places. The former Intelligence Bureau director and the Centre’s interlocutor for talks with both factions of the Dima Halam Daogah, United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) and the pro-talks faction of the NDFB would visit the district headquarters of North Cachar Hills and Karbi Anglong on December 1 and 2. According to them, Haldar will hold parleys with prominent leaders, state government officials and militant leaders on the prevailing situation and demands of the DHD factions and the UPDS besides finding ways to reconcile differences to take things forward. All these groups are in ceasefire, the last one being the Jewel Gorlosa group of the DHD which formally surrendered arms on October 2. “He got the mood of Dispur during his last visit. It is an important visit because he will come face to face with the people. Time permitting, he could visit Kokrajhar or Udalguri to meet pro-talks NDFB leaders,” a source said. “Two visits within 10 days and in a month show the government’s earnestness to get things moving.” Haldar’s visit assumes significance because the anti-talks Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF) has declared total ceasefire a couple of days back. “He will also like to get feedback on this group because, everything remaining equal, they will have to be included in the ongoing peace process,” the source added. Sources, however, said that the state government would not recommend lifting of the ban on the DHD (J) to keep it under pressure to come forward to a peaceful resolution of their demands. The superintendent of police, NC Hills, Anurag Tankha, is likely to attend the hearing of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Tribunal in Delhi on December 3 and 4. The DHD (J) had challenged the ban imposed by the Centre in its reply to a showcause issued by the tribunal in Shillong on November 26. The tribunal is headed by Justice Kailash Gambhir, a Delhi High Court judge. Earlier this month , Haldar had extensive interaction with chief minister Tarun Gogoi, chief secretary P.C. Sharma, principal secretary (home) S.C. Das, DGP Shankar Baruah and other top officials.

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