ULFA's elusive 'commander-in-chief' Paresh Barua should come forward for talks if he is really interested in solving the problems of Assam, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said on Sunday.
"Paresh Barua should realise that the people of Assam want peace and if he wants to see it prosper, he should give up the path of violence and solve the problems of the state through democratic political negotiations," Gogoi told a gathering at the official function organised to mark the completion of four years of his second term in office.
Insurgency, he said, is the biggest hurdle in the economic development of the state and most groups realising this have come forward for talks.
Referring to Congress's coalition partner Bodo Peoples' Forum leader Hagrama Mohilary, Gogoi said he (Mohilary), too, had spearheaded an armed struggle but on realising its futility, came forward for talks and the Bodo Territorial Council (BTC) was formed.
"Now, two BTC elections have been held and the Bodo areas are making remarkable progress under Mohilary's leadership," he said.
Gogoi thanked a section of Assam's intellectuals, led by Sahitya Akademi-winning litterateur Hiren Gohain for taking the initiative for peace talks with ULFA.