Centre for expediting peace process : Pillai

Pro-talk ultra groups

(Assam Tribune)

R Dutta Choudhury.

GUWAHATI, Feb 22 : The Government of India, while talking to the militant groups which laid down arms to come for talks, already made it clear that there  will be no further division of Assam. This was disclosed by the Union Home Secretary, GK Pillai.

Talking to the Media, the Union Home Secretary said that the Centre was keen on expediting the peace talks with the militants groups and “we hope to complete the process within the next two or three months.”

Pillai admitted that the demands raised by most of the militants groups including Dima Halam Daogah (DHD) , United Peoples’ Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) and Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF) were similar and interconnected. He said that there should not be any problem in dealing with the demands as the same interlocutor was talking to all the groups. However, he asserted that there would be no division of Assam.

It may be mentioned here that the Government has started the process of talks with five militants groups of Assam including the four groups based in the hill districts of NC Hills & Karbi Anglong and the pro talk faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).

The Union Home Secretary said that t present, talks with the militant groups were being held separately, but in the final stage, effort would be made to bring all those four groups of the hill districts together for talks for a permanent solution of the problems.

Replying to a question, Pillai said that efforts were on to initiate the process of talks with the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA). He said the efforts to start talks with the ULFA were “Progressing well”. He added that Union Home Minister, P Chidambram would soon hold talks with Chief Minister of Assam, Tarun Gogoi to finalize strategies for initiating the process of talks with the ULFA. However, he refused to divulge the details of the progress made so far in the efforts to bring the ULFA leaders to the negotiation table.

The Union Home Secretary admitted that the law and order situation in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) area was a matter of concern and there was need for talking measures to bring the situation under control before the polls to the council scheduled for April this year. Pillai, who recently visited Kokrajhar to assess the situation said that he had reviewed the overall situation in a meeting with senior officers of the state Government, Police and Security forces. ” We have given some instruction for ensuring the improvement of the law and order situation. It is a state subject and we hope that the instructions given will be followed for improvement of the situation”, he added.

Commenting on the overall law-and-order situation in the northeast, Pillai admitted that though the situation had improved, there was still scope for improvement so that no killing took place.

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