NEW DELHI, JANUARY 28: A day after the Bodo pact was signed, senior Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday said that the Centre is willing to hold peace talks with ULFA (Independent) faction and appealed to its leader Paresh Barua to come to the negotiating table.
Sarma, who is also the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor, told reporters that Union Home Minister Amit Shah had clearly said on Monday that if the anti-talk ULFA (I) faction is ready for negotiations, then “the Centre is more than willing to hold dialogue with them for the sake of permanent peace in Assam and the Northeast.”
Referring to the Bodo pact, which was signed yesterday, Sarma said, “A historic accord was signed on Monday through discussions with all the factions of the NFDB. The Centre and state Government want peace in the region through dialogue.”
On Monday, the Government signed a peaqce accord with all factions of the Bodo militant group – National Democratic Front (NFDB) and All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU).
Sarma said most of the militant outfits in the Northeastern states are holding talks but “if we want peace in the region, it should be inclusive by involving all the factions and the outfits.”
The offer comes a few days after ULFA (I) claimed responsibility for 4 serial blasts in Upper Assam districts on Republic Day.
(IE with PTI inputs)