The ULFA leadership has discussed the modalities for peace talks which would be made public soon, ULFA “Deputy Commander-in-Chief” Raju Baruah said after being released from jail on Saturday.

“A positive atmosphere has already been created with the government not opposing our bail and we hope a respectable solution will be soon found,” the ULFA leader told reporters after he arrived to a warm welcome at his home in Charia in Nalbari district after being released from the Guwahati Central Jail.

“During the last 25 years of my involvement with the ULFA, I have never asked the people of the State to pick up the gun but now I appeal to them to help us resolve the issue,” he said.

“ULFA realises that if the people are not involved in the talks process, there can be no permanent solution to the problem. We will not take any decision keeping the people in the dark,” the ULFA leader, who was granted bail in two TADA cases and a CBI case on Friday, said.

“If the people of Assam do not want us to sit for talks, we will not go ahead because we realise that if the common people are not involved, the talks will fail,” he said.

Earlier in Guwahati, he said all jailed ULFA leaders should be released as soon as possible for the peace talks with the government.

He had been handed over to the Indian authorities by the Bangladesh Rifles along with ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa last year.

Talks with ULFA likely in January: Gogoi

Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said in New Delhi that peace talks between the ULFA and the government are expected to begin in January.

Mr. Gogoi said Centre’s interlocutor P.C. Halder has been engaged in initial discussion with the ULFA leadership and would finalise the modalities of talks before initiating the process.

“I think the talks with ULFA will start by January. Things are going on in a positive direction,” he told reporters in New Delhi.

Mr. Gogoi met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P. Chidambaram in the last two days and briefed them about the prevailing situation in Assam and the proposed talks.

To facilitate their participation in peace talks, the Assam government has already decided not to oppose the bail pleas of top ULFA leaders, including its chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa.

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