Ulfa talks hope alive: Haldar | india | Hindustan Times
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Ulfa talks hope alive: Haldar

Former Intelligence Bureau chief P.C. Haldar met United Liberation Front of Asom chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa at the central jail in Guwahati on Wednesday to keep the hopes of a peace negotiation alive. Rahul Karmakar reports.

india Updated: Sep 15, 2010 22:28 IST
Rahul Karmakar

Former Intelligence Bureau chief P.C. Haldar met United Liberation Front of Asom chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa at the central jail in Guwahati on Wednesday to keep the hopes of a peace negotiation alive.

Haldar, New Delhi's interlocutor for talks with the banned outfit, also met the chairman of the outlawed Black Widow or Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel) group for a solution in Assam's troubled Dima Hasao (formerly North Cachar Hills) district.

"Our discussion was productive, and there's every reason to hope for a peaceful solution to the Ulfa problem," said Haldar before returning to New Delhi.

Rajkhowa and Ulfa deputy commander-in-chief Raju Baruah were arrested in Dhaka in December last year and later handed over to Assam Police. Their arrest followed those of the outfit's foreign secretary Sashadhar Choudhury and finance secretary Chitrabon Hazarika.

The other top leaders in Guwahati Jail are Ulfa advisor Bhimkanta Buragohain and cultural secretary Pranati Deka. Two others, vice-chairman Pradeep Gogoi and publicity secretary Mithinga Daimary, were released on bail last February.

Ulfa commander-in-chief Paresh Barua, one of very few in the outfit's decision-making body still at large, has ruled out peace talks unless New Delhi discusses the issue of sovereignty of Assam.

The outfit claims the government is trying to sideline Barua by striking a peace deal with the jailed Ulfa leaders. "Talks can be initiated without him (Barua). After all, he isn't a founding-member of the outfit," a senior police officer told HT.