Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday said self-styled commander-in-chief of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) Paresh Barua was under tremendous pressure from forces abroad as well as within India to indulge in violence to prove its presence and relevance.

He alleged that the Barua-led ULFA was responsible for the recent grenade blasts in Lakhimpur and Karbi Anglong districts that killed one person and injured nine.

Mr. Gogoi, however, declined to name the foreign forces. He said the forces within the country were anti-talk factions of different insurgent outfits. Barua was taking shelter in more than one foreign country and the strength of his outfit had declined.

The Chief Minister pointed out that when he assumed office in 2001 in his first term, 400 persons were killed in insurgency-related violence and in the current year the figure had declined to about 12 civilians. The doors for negotiation were still open for Barua’s outfit if it was willing to give up violence and come forward for talks.

Besides asking Deputy Commissioners and district Police Superintendents to keep a strong vigil to foil any attempt by the Barua-led ULFA or any other outfit to indulge in violence, the State government has decided to continue its two-pronged approach of expediting development work and go in for more employment generation and improving the security situation simultaneously for carrying forward development work unhindered.