The Assam government may release all the jailed Ulfa leaders if the banned outfit formally shows interest in talks.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said here on Friday that the Ulfa leaders’ release was necessary to prepare the ground for peace. He said, “We want a formal communication from the outfit.”
At present, seven top leaders of the United Liberation Front of Assam, including its chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, are in the state’s jails.
Banned in 1990, the Ulfa was founded in 1979 to establish a sovereign Assam through armed struggle. During the last two decades, about 10,000 people were killed in clashes between the outfit and security forces.
On December 5, 2009, Rajkhowa was arrested in Bangladesh and was handed over to India.
On Ulfa commander-in-chief Paresh Barua’s insistence on considering sovereignty as a precondition for the talks, Gogoi said the people had rejected the demand by participating in the assembly and Parliamentary elections.
Political observers here said on condition of anonymity that the Ulfa might drop the sovereignty demand and press for greater autonomy in the line of Jammu and Kashmir.