Assam Govt for release of top ULFA leaders | india | Hindustan Times
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Assam Govt for release of top ULFA leaders

The imprisonment period has expired for the five insurgent leaders, now being held in Guwahati District Jail.

india Updated: May 19, 2006 17:59 IST

The Assam government has no objection to the release of some of the five jailed "central executive council" members of the outlawed ULFA and has recommended to the Centre that they be set free.

"Our government has no objection to their (jailed ULFA leaders) release and the process in on," Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters in Guwahati on Friday.

Chief Secretary S Kabilan, who also heads the anti-insurgency Unified Command Structure, said the state government had recommended their release after the Centre sought its views on the issue.

Kabilan, however, refused to divulge how many of the five imprisoned ULFA leaders would be set free.

The imprisonment period has expired for the five insurgent leaders, now being held in Guwahati District Jail following their arrest under the National Security Act.

They include ULFA vice chairman Pradip Gogoi, cultural secretary Pranati Deka, political advisor and ideologue septuagenarian Bhimkanta Buragohain, publicity secretary Mithinga Daimary and Ramu Mech.

Gogoi was arrested in Kolkata in 1998, while Deka was apprehended from West Garo Hills in Meghalaya in 2003 after she jumped bail in 1998 following her arrest in Mumbai the previous year.

Buragohain, Daimary and Mech were taken into custody during the Bhutan Army's operation in December 2003 against Indian militants hiding in the kingdom.

ULFA "commander-in-chief" Paresh Baruah had been demanding their release, saying the 10-member ULFA central executive committee alone could decide on direct peace talks with the government.

The group's general secretary Anup Chetia, another member of the committee, is in jail in Bangladesh where he had been arrested on various charges.