United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa and self-styled deputy commander-in-chief of the outfit Raju Baruah have been arrested. They, along with their family members, were taken into custody after they “surrendered” before the Border Security Force in the Dawki sector of the India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya on Friday morning.

Apart from Rajkhowa and Raju Baruah, the 10-member ULFA group which was handed over to the Assam Police comprised Rajkhowa’s wife, Kaberi Kachari (42), his two sons Gadadhar (5) and Kamsena (13), Raju Baruah’s wife, Nirala Neog (30), and his minor son Hemanta, Runima Choudhury (41), wife of Sashadhar Choudhury, the arrested ULFA foreign secretary, and the couple’s 10-month-old daughter, Hema, and Raja Bora, PSO of Arabinda Rajkhowa.

“A group was seen loitering suspiciously near the Dawki border early in the morning. When they were challenged, they surrendered and revealed their identities. They were handed over to the Assam Police and taken to Guwahati,” BSF spokesman Ravi Gandhi said.

Confirming their arrival in the State, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told journalists at a function: “I am hopeful of peace talks. Whatever is necessary, we will take steps [to facilitate talks]. It will be good beginning.”

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