ULFA ‘chairman’ Arabinda Rajkhowa on Tuesday denied there was a split in the group and claimed that ‘commander-in-chief’ Paresh Barua, reportedly opposed to the ongoing peace process, also wanted a solution to the 32-year-old conflict.
“There is no split in the ULFA. There are no factions. It is only the media which says one faction is led by Paresh Barua and another by Arabinda Rajkhowa,” Mr. Rajkhowa told PTI here in an interview.
“Paresh Baruah as the ‘commander-in-chief’ of our organisation may want a military solution and I as the head of the organisation want a political solution... but both of us want a solution to the conflict,” he said.
Asked if he has spoken with Mr. Baruah to be present at the peace talks, he said, “He is interested, but has doubts about how much we can trust the Government of India.
“Besides, he has never himself opposed the talks. It is only a person by the name of Arun Udoy Dohotia who issues press statements opposing the talks,” he claimed.
“I am in touch with Baruah. Not much can be spoken on phone except for asking about each other’s welfare. Such important matters relating to the peace talks cannot be discussed on the phone.”
He said discussions had to be held face to face with all executive council members based on the collective leadership principle.