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ULFA Chief To Talk If ‘Core Issues’ Addressed

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United Liberation Front of Assam-Independent (ULFA-I) chief Paresh Barua has said his group will start negotiations if the Modi government agrees to talk on the core issue of sovereignty.
Barua has formally communicated this to the Centre through intermediaries. 
He has also confirmed his desire to talk in a telephonic conversation with The Assam Tribune on Saturday.
But Baruah, who now calls himself ‘Paresh  Asom’ , said the outfit would not join talks till the government agrees to discuss the core issue.
“If the government gives us in writing that it would talk on the core issue, we will definitely respond in a positive way,” ‘Assam Tribune” quoted Baruah as saying.
He also claimed that the ULFA (I) would be able to fill up the void created by the surrender of deputy commander-in-chief Drishti Rajkhowa.
Since the formation of ULFA, a number of senior leaders and cadres left the outfit, but new members have taken their place , Baruah said.
He said the ULFA (I) would always respect the contribution of Rajkhowa to the armed movement, but the void created by his surrender would be filled up.
 A new commander has already been named to replace Rajkhowa, a Pakistan-trained explosive expert.
But Baruah’s comments on Rajkhowa has given rise to speculations if surrendered rebel  has been tasked by Baruah to explore possibilities of opening a dialogue with the Centre.
Because Rajkhowa was really desperate to surrender , said a top Assam police official . ” He pestered me with text messages and calls for nearly a month.” 
The ULFA (I) chief pointed out that since the outfit’s formation, the chairman’s post was occupied by three leaders.
In 1992, a large number of senior leaders and cadres left the ULFA.
Again, in 2010, eight central committee members, including the chairman, came overground to start talks with the government.
“They also managed to take away a number of district committee members as well as members of three of the four battalions of the outfit. But the outfit managed to survive even after such a setback. This proves that surrender of a few persons would not finish off the movement,” Baruah claimed.
But no government in Delhi could possibly discuss the ‘core issue of sovereignity’  at a time when the Modi government has refused to concede the concept of ‘shared sovereignity’ to the NSCN(I-M).

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