The Centre on Monday said it was ready to hold dialogue with two major insurgent groups in Assam — ULFA and NDFB — even if the anti-talk factions of the groups are opposed to it.

“Our offer to talk to ULFA remains. But we have not yet got an offer to talk from those who have been apprehended. (ULFA ‘Commander—in—Chief’) Paresh Baruah is not with us, we do not think he is in India. Just because Paresh Baruah is out of the country it does not mean that talks can be avoided indefinitely,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters on Monday.

He was replying to a question on whether the government was planning to hold talks with militant groups in Assam. “It is my sincere hope and appeal that those who have come back to India, who have been apprehended, who are in custody today... those leaders will come forward to hold talks with the governments. If they come forward to hold talks, we are prepared to hold talks,” he said.

On possible talks with Bodo rebel group NDFB, he said even if the outfit’s chairman Ranjan Daimary does not come for talks, the talks would be held. “If Ranjan Daimary’s group does not come for talks that does not mean we will not go forward with the talks... Ranjan Daimary is a fugitive from justice, if there is an opportunity they will be apprehended,” he said.

RELATED NEWS

NDFB militant killed in encounter in Assam February 23, 2010