The government on Wednesday expressed its willingness to hold talks with all insurgent groups in the northeast, including the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), provided they abjured violence, laid downs arms and gave up the sovereignty demand.
“The government has always shown its willingness to enter into dialogue with any group which is willing to abjure violence and places its demand within the framework of the Constitution,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram told the Rajya Sabha during question hour.
While tripartite dialogue was on with the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB), the anti-talk faction led by Ranjan Daimari continued to oppose the peace process, he said. No formal request for peace dialogue was received so far at the organisational level from the ULFA.
Two companies of the self-styled 28 battalion of the ULFA, which declared a unilateral ceasefire, had submitted a charter of demands to the Assam government.
On the arrest of the top ULFA leader, Arabinda Rajkhowa, the Minister said he was apprehended by the Border Security Force on the India-Bangladesh Border in Meghalaya. He was later arrested by Assam police as he is wanted there in several cases. If there was an offer of talks (from ULFA), “we will be happy to hold talks” and due dignity would be maintained when the talks took place.
On the other groups in Assam, he said tripartite talks were on with Dima Halam Daogah (DHD), the United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) and the DHD(J). The government appointed a representative to negotiate with these groups for hastening the peace process.
The Minister said the matter of closer cooperation on security issues, including counter-terrorism, and the presence of Indian insurgent groups were regularly taken up appropriately with Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal at various levels.