Monday, December 7, 2009

Tarun Gogoi’s stand on arrested ULFA leaders

GUWAHATI, Dec 7: The Chief Minister did not appreciate the way the security of ULFA leaders — Arabinda Rajkhowa and Raju Baruah — was handled by the police while taking them from Kahilipara to the CJM Court on December 5.

On December 5, the two ULFA leaders were taken to the CJM Court from Kahilipara in a bus that was led and followed by a security vehicle each in the evening hours when Guwahati witnesses the worst traffic snarl. On that day, mediamen and general public were very close to the two ULFA leaders near the CJM Court, and as such there was every possibility of occurrence of untoward incidents.

Talking to newsmen here today, Gogoi said: “I’m not happy with the way the two ULFA leaders were taken to the CJM Court. Anything could have happened on that day.”

On the issue of handcuffing the two ULFA leaders while they were being produced before the CJM Court, Gogoi said: “It’s up to the police. They take their decision on such matters taking the security risk involved into their consideration. I have nothing to say on that.”

Gogoi said it is a big success that as many as four top ULFA leaders have been arrested in a month. “The door for peace talks is always open. The militants have to give up violence, drop the demand for sovereignty and come forward for peace talks,” he said, and added: “The ULFA leaders should realize what the people of Assam actually want. The people of the State haven’t forgotten the Dhemaji blast. The NSCN is also a rebel group, but it doesn’t kill innocent people.”

Gogoi said: “There can be talks with the ULFA minus Paresh Baruah the way the Centre has started peace talks with the NDFB minus Ranjan Daimary. Now only two central executive members of the ULFA — Paresh Baruah and Jibon Moran — are at large. While Jibon Moran is in Myanmar, Paresh Baruah shifted his base from Bangladesh to a safer site.”

Reacting to Arabinda Rajkhowa and Raju Baruah’s statement that they were cheated by Bangladesh, Gogoi said: “Who told the ULFA leaders to trust Bangladesh over the years.”

According to Gogoi, ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, ‘deputy commander-in-chief’ Raju Baruah, Raja Bora and others were picked up by the BSF when they were loitering suspiciously along the Bangladesh border. “The BSF handed them over to the Assam Police who arrested them in connection with various cases,” Gogoi said.

On some people shouting slogans like “ULFA zindabad”, Gogoi said they are anti-national elements. “Action will be taken against them as per law,” Gogoi said, and appealed to the public to act in a responsible way and help solve the ULFA problem.

Meanwhile, the Opposition parties in the State are not satisfied with the Chief Minister’s statement on the recent development on ULFA front in the Assembly today. They said that the State Government’s lack of sincerity to solve the ULFA problem was glaring in the Chief Minister’s statement in the House today.

Talking to newsmen after the proceedings of the Assembly today, AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary said: “We hoped a positive signal on peace talks with the ULFA in Gogoi’s statement that has only exposed the Government’s intention to keep the ULFA problems alive.”

CPI leader Dhrupad Borgohain said: “How can talks be possible with handcuffed ULFA leaders? Arabinda Rajkhowa is treated as an ordinary accused. The Government could have improved the situation but failed to do so. If talks on sovereignty can be held with the NSCN, why can’t it be held with the ULFA?”

BJP leader Mission Ranjan Das and AIUDF leader Aditya Langthasa said the Government’s stand is hampering the peace process with the ULFA.THE SENTINEL

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