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ULFA set to ‘suspend operations’

If pact is signed,ULFA will have to give up arms,move cadres to designated camps.

A two-member delegation of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) left for Delhi Thursday to take forward the pace talks.

The delegation is expected to sign a “Suspension of Operations” agreement with the Centre.

If and when it signs the agreement,ULFA,which remains a banned organisation,would have to move all its cadres to designated camps as also deposit its arms and ammunition. About 200 cadres of the group are already lodged in two such camps in Tinsukia and Nalbari while at least five more camps are likely to be set up to accommodate about 500 cadres who have rallied behind chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa,who is leading the faction which is engaged in the peace talks.

The arms and ammunition would be deposited in special armouries with twin locks —one each for ULFA and the government. ULFA would also have to abide by a set of rules like NSCN and other outfits in the Northeast that have engaged in talks with the Centre.

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The government has already debarred ULFA,whose top leaders are out on bail,from hoisting or displaying its flag or shouting slogans in public except at the designated camps.

ULFA,on its part,is likely to press the Centre to withdraw Army from the counter-insurgency operations as also the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

ULFA had announced a unilateral ceasefire on July 12,with Rajkhowa saying this was done to help the peace talks,and on August 5 submitted its “charter of demands” to the Union Home Ministry.

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Meanwhile,security forces are learnt to have cautioned the government about the “practical difficulties” in keeping an unspecified number of ULFA cadres — the outfit’s cadre strength remains unknown— in designated camps. There were no such difficulties with smaller outfits like DHD,NDFB(P) and UPDS.

Besides,the fact that “Commander-in-Chief” Paresh Barua,who remains out of peace talks,commands the loyalty of a sizeable chunk of ULFA’s armed wing — 200 persons,according to the estimates of security agencies — is also a worry for these armed men and women are capable of creating trouble to harm the peace process.

First published on: 02-09-2011 at 01:47:24 am
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