The United Liberation Front of Asom faction led by chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa has declared a unilateral and indefinite ceasefire in order to facilitate a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict in Assam.
“ULFA, with a view of exploring a lasting peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflict, resolves to cease all forms of armed campaign for an indefinite period,” Rajkhowa said in an e-mail sent to HT.
“Political discussions have been initiated wherein the ULFA has had exchange of views with the home minister of India, chief minister of Assam and Prime Minister of India amongst others; and whereas in course of such exchanges, everybody has expressed earnest desire that an honourable, meaningful discussion should continue in a peaceful atmosphere conducive for political negotiations,” the statement said.
The mail also asked all members of the organization to “scrupulously implement the decision in letter and spirit and any infringement thereof will be considered as an anti-organisational act and shall be dealt with accordingly.”
The ULFA was formed in Sivasagar 32 years ago by six individuals including Arabinda Rajkhowa with complete sovereignty and independence from India as its avowed goal.
An estimated 10,000 people have lost their lives in the more than three-decade long conflict.
The peace negotiations took off after Rajkhowa and other ULFA leaders landed in the Indian custody after being arrested by the Bangladeshi security forces in that country in a government crackdown prompted by India.
However, the peace process continues to be conducted under the shadow of an unrelenting Paresh Barua, ULFA commander-in-chief, who is reportedly located in the unruly international border between Myanmar and China along with about 150 of armed cadres.
The Rajkhowa faction has also prepared an agenda for talks with the government asking for a special status for Assam with greater autonomy and where the demand for sovereignty has been dropped.