ULFA rejects peace talks offer, threatens to wage war

Guwahati, Nov 25 (Inditop.com) The outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) Wednesday rejected the central government’s offer for peace talks if it dropped the demand for sovereignty, and instead threatened to wage a war for Assam’s independence with renewed vigour.

Home Minister P.C. Chidambaram Tuesday told the Rajya Sabha that the government was ready to hold talks with the ULFA provided the outfit first laid down arms and gave up its demand for sovereignty.

Chidambaram said this while making a statement on the recent twin explosions in Assam’s Nalbari town, in which eight people were killed and 55 wounded.

“Once again the statement reflects the indifferent attitude of the central government. We are not going to sit for talks with the government if sovereignty is not discussed,” ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa said in an e-mailed statement to IANS.

“We are not beggars to sit for talks on the government’s terms and conditions.”

The ULFA, fighting for an independent homeland since 1979, was blamed for the twin explosions Sunday in Nalbari in western Assam.

“We shall continue with our fight although we don’t want conflict and bloodshed. We want a peaceful negotiated political settlement to the problem,” the ULFA statement said.

Meanwhile, Director General of Assam Rifles Lt-Gen K.S. Yadava said ULFA militants were on the run from bases in Bangladesh following a massive crackdown launched by that country.

“We have reports of several of their leaders sneaking into India from Bangladesh, but we don’t know if they are in the region (Assam) or have managed to enter Myanmar,” Yadava told journalists Wednesday in Meghalaya capital Shillong.

The Assam Rifles is a paramilitary force engaged in anti-insurgency operations in the northeast.