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ULFA(I) hints at joining peace talks

Guwahati:  Anti-talk ULFA (Independent) ‘commander-in-chief’ Paresh Baruah on Wednesday said his faction might join peace talks if invited respectfully, but would maintain its stand on the core issue of sovereignty for Assam.
Reacting to his one-time colleague Anup Chetia mediating for bringing him to the discussion table, Baruah said “that will depend on whether his invitation is based on principle and he is free from jail to think independently”.
Talking to some local TV news channels, Baruah said, “We have not said that we’ll not participate in talks. If invited with respect we’ll come. But we’ll maintain our earlier stand as we have only one core issue (sovereignty for Assam). “We cannot move away from our core issue as there are many sacrifices involved…15,000 died.”
To a question whether Chetia being brought to India from jail in Bangladesh will weaken his core demand, he said, “It does not matter whether I am or Anup Chetia is there in the organisation. It does not make the organisation weak. Revolution will continue whether he is or I am there or not. It is driven by ideology”.
On the possibility of Chetia being a part of the peace talks process, Baruah said, “I will not comment on it.”
“After 18 years in jail in Bangladesh, if he has to again stay in jail in India it will be unfortunate for him and the people of Assam. The government will not be respecting the sentiments of the people of Assam,” Baruah said.

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