Centre's peace interlocutor P C Haldar on Thursday met the top ULFA brass inside Gauhati Central Jail and discussed modalities for formal peace talks between the proscribed group and the government.
Haldar met the incarcerated ULFA leaders, including 'chairman' Arabinda Rajkhowa, and discussed possibilities for the peace talks, particularly in the backdrop of Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi asserting that the peace parleys could begin by December, a senior official said.
The ULFA leaders' release from Indian and Bangladeshi jails were some of the issues that came up during the meeting today, the official said.
Hiren Gohain, convenor of Citizens Forum - a group of civil society members advocating talks between the ULFA and the government - separately met the rebel leaders.
"The peace process is gaining momentum now and is on the right track. All indications are positive and a good outcome could be expected soon," he said.
Asked if the talks will be held only after elusive ULFA 'commander-in-chief' Paresh Baruah agreed to participate in the peace negotiations, Gohain said, "it is a question of patience. How long will the people wait for a solution to the vexed ULFA problem. It is a good sign that the peace process has been put in place."
Except Paresh Baruah, the entire top ULFA leadership is in jail and they include 'chairman' Arabinda Rajkhowa, 'deputy commander-in-chief' Raju Baruah, 'foreign secretary' Sasha Choudhury, 'finance secretary' Chitrabon Hazarika, 'cultural secretary' Pranati Deka and idealogue Bhimkanta Buragohain.
Two other leaders - 'vice-chairman' Pradip Gogoi and 'publicity secretary' Mithinga Daimary - are out on bail and are working towards public support for the peace dialogue.
"I have got the green signal from the prime minister and the union home minister to go ahead with the process of bringing the ULFA leaders to the negotiation table," Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had recently said in Delhi.
"May be by December we should get the talks process on. More or less, almost all the ULFA leaders are positive in so far as holding the peace talks," he said.