Tripartite peace accord to be inked between ULFA, Centre, Assam govt

NewsDrum Desk
New Update

New Delhi: A tripartite peace accord between the pro-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), and the central and Assam governments will be signed here on Friday, aiming to end decades-old insurgency in the northeastern state, officials said.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and more than a dozen top leaders of the pro-talks faction of the ULFA, headed by Arabinda Rajkhowa, will be present during the signing of the peace agreement.

The accord will take care of a host of long-standing political, economic and social issues concerning Assam, besides providing cultural safeguards and land rights to the indigenous people, the officials said.

The hardline faction of the ULFA led by Paresh Baruah will not be part of the agreement as he has been consistently rejecting the olive branch offered by the government.

Two top leaders of the Rajkhowa group -- Anup Chetia and Sashdhar Choudhary -- have been in the national capital since last week and gave the final touches to the peace agreement along with government interlocutors, the sources said.

Those who have been talking to the ULFA faction from the government side include Intelligence Bureau Director Tapan Deka and the government's advisor on the Northeast affairs A K Mishra.

The Rajkhowa-led ULFA faction had begun unconditional talks with the central government in 2011, despite strong opposition from the hardline faction led by Baruah, who is believed to be residing at a place along the China-Myanmar border.

The ULFA was formed in 1979 with the demand for a "sovereign Assam". Since then, it has been involved in subversive activities that led to the central government declaring it a banned outfit in 1990.

The Rajkhowa faction joined peace talks with the government on September 3, 2011 after an agreement for Suspension of Operations (SoO) was signed between the ULFA, central and state governments.