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Updated December 29th, 2023 at 20:18 IST

Path to Peace: Chronology of ULFA Insurgency in Assam

This historic event comes after several fruitless negotiations and a turbulent past of Assam characterized by extortion, violence, and political unrest.

Digital Desk
ULFA
Meeting of the ULFA with the government officials. | Image:Republic
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Guwahati: The pro-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) on Friday signed a peace accord with the central and Assam governments, agreeing to shun violence, disband the organisation and join the democratic process. Take a look at the Chronology of events associated with ULFA since its inception: April 7, 1979: United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) formed at Rang Ghar, an Ahom-era amphitheatre, in Assam's Sivasagar.

  • June, 1979: Members meet at Moran to discuss outfit's name, symbol, flag and constitution.
  • 1980: Begins flexing its muscles by targeting Congress politicians, business houses from outside the state, tea gardens and public sector companies, particularly oil and gas sector.
  • 1985-1990: Assam slips into turmoil during the first term of the Asom Gana Parishad government-led by Prafulla Kumar Mahanta with the ULFA unleashing a spate of kidnappings, extortions and killings, including Russian engineer Sergei November 1990: Unilever's seven tea executives airlifted from Doomdooma with the help of Union home ministry and without the knowledge of the Assam government.
  • November 28, 1990: Operation Bajrang launched by Army against ULFA. The operations were led by GOC 4 Corps Commander Lt Gen Ajay Singh who later went on to become Assam's Governor.
  • November 29, 1990: President's Rule imposed with the dismissal of Mahanta-led AGP government.
  • November 1990: Assam declared a Disturbed Area and the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act invoked. ULFA declared a separatist and unlawful organization.
  • January 31, 1991: Operation Bajrang called off.
  • January, 1991: Then Prime Minister Chandrasekhar informs Rajya Sabha that central government would take necessary steps if ULFA expressed willingness for political talks.
  • ULFA responded that no talks was possible as long as army operation and President's Rule continued, and that there would be no compromise on their demand of Assam's 'sovereignty'.
  • June, 1991: Congress government led by Hiteswar Saikia assumes office.
  • September,1991: Operation Rhino launched against ULFA.
  • March 1992: ULFA splits into two factions with a section coming over ground and surrendering and organising themselves as Surrendered ULFA (SULFA) 1996: AGP returns to power and Prafulla Kumar Mahanta becomes chief minister for the second time.
  • January 1997: Unified Command, comprising army, state police and para-military forces, headed by the chief secretary constituted for coordinated strategy and operations against ULFA.
  • 1997-2000: Series of killings of family members of ULFA militants allegedly by SULFA which was termed as 'Secret Killings'.
  • 2001: Congress government with Tarun Gogoi as the chief minister assumes office.
  • December 2003: 'Operation All Clear' launched by the Royal Bhutan Army to close down ULFA and other NE militants camps in the neighbouring country.
  • 2004: ULFA agrees to hold talks with the government.
  • September 2005: ULFA constitutes 11-member People's Consultative Group (PCG). Three rounds of talks, led by eminent Jnanpith award winning author Indira (Mamoni) Raisom Goswami, held with Centre but failed to make any headway.
  • June, 2008: Leaders of ULFA's 28th Battalion declare unilateral ceasefire.
  • December, 2009: ULFA top leaders, including chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, arrested in Bangladesh, deported to India and jailed in Guwahati.
  • December 2010: Jailed ULFA leader forms 'Citizen Forum', comprising intellectuals, writers, journalists and professionals to urge government for talks.
  • 2011: Rajkhowa and other jailed leaders released.
  • ULFA splits into two factions: ULFA (Pro-talks) led by Rajkhowa, and ULFA(Independent), headed by Paresh Barua.
  • 2012: ULFA submits 12-point charter of demands to the government.
  • 2015: ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia released from a Bangladesh jail after serving a term of 18 years since 1997.
  • May 2021: BJP's Himanta Biswa Sarma becomes chief minister and extends olive branch to Paresh Barua-led ULFA(I).
  • April 2023: Centre sends draft of the proposed agreement to the ULFA (pro-talks) faction.
  • October 2023: Anup Chetia informs that suggestions regarding the draft proposals sent to Centre.
  • December 29, 2023: Tripartite signing of Memorandum of Settlement between the Centre, state government and ULFA (pro-talks) faction. 

(With PTI Inputs) 

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Published December 29th, 2023 at 20:18 IST

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