Updated December 29th, 2023 at 20:34 IST
Peace deal with Paresh Barua possible, more agreements lined up by Amit Shah: Assam CM
The Assam CM lauded PM Narendra Modi for his attempt at “mainstreaming” the Northeast and the eradication of insurgency from the region as a result.
- 3 min read
New Delhi: Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, on Friday, called the peace agreement with the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) “historic” and said that it will “further peace and tranquility in the Northeast.”
Speaking exclusively to Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, Sarma lauded PM Narendra Modi for his attempt at “mainstreaming” the Northeast and the eradication of insurgency from the region as a result.
In the conversation, Sarma said that since 1987, when the ULFA started an agitation, over 10,000 people have been killed including civilians, ULFA insurgents and security personnel. The ULFA is the oldest insurgent group in Assam and it was founded in 1979 demanding a sovereign state for the people of Assam .
“When all the founding members of ULFA including its Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa comes to sign the agreement with the government, it is a big news for the people of Assam and the people of Northeast. This will further the process of peace and tranquility. In 2014, PM Modi started of mainstreaming Northeast. Today is a historic day and it fulfills PM Modi's dream of mainstreaming Northeast. I thank PM Modi for his vision and Amit Shah navigated the peace process,” Sarma said.
Rajkhowa is the head of the ULFA faction that has been open to talks with the government since the insurgent group's split in 2011. The other half - ULFA (Independent) - is led by Paresh Barua, one of the founders of ULFA, who has been demanding ‘sovereignty’ for Assam and refuses to negotiate.
Assam CM on peace talks with Barua
Sarma told Republic that the agreement with Rajkhowa's faction will pave way for a peace deal with Barua.
“In a way you can assume, it will pave way for discussion with Paresh Barua. 90% of the ULFA has signed the peace accord. The day is not far when we will be able to have Paresh Barua at negotiation table. Because of this accord, we will able to negotiate with Paresh Barua faction as well," the CM said.
Sarma went on to clarify that Barua has indicated that he will move forward regarding negotiations with the government only if he is satisfied with the progress made with Rajkhowa's faction.
More peace deals lined up by Home Minister
The Assam CM revealed that the Union Home Minister Amit Shah has several more peace deals lined up for other insurgent groups across Northeast.
“Home Minister Amit Shah has lined up few more agreements for other states of Northeast. There are many issues (and) conflict situation among communities and within the state. In the last 3 years, Assam has not seen any incident and this accord will further peace and tranquility,” he told Arnab.
Earlier on November 29, Shah announced a peace deal with the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) - the oldest valley-based armed group of Manipur. Speaking about Manipur, Sarma admitted that the violence in the state is a “setback” but claimed that it is “limping back to normalcy.”
“As far as Assam is concerned, now we are completely out of militancy. Now with the ULFA accord, Assam will see permanent peace and tranquility,” he said.
Published December 29th, 2023 at 20:33 IST