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After pact with pro-talks ULFA faction, Himanta feels Paresh Baruah will also come to negotiating table

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma told journalists that people who have been in constant touch with Baruah told him the anti-talks faction was not keen on taking part in simultaneous peace talks.

Paresh BaruahGUWAHATI: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday said the tripartite agreement signed by the Centre, Assam government and ULFA (pro-talks faction) has paved the way for peace negotiations with the Paresh Baruah-led anti-talks faction of ULFA.

Sarma told journalists that people who have been in constant touch with Baruah told him the anti-talks faction was not keen on taking part in simultaneous peace talks.

“I appealed to Paresh Baruah several times to join the peace process. People, who are in regular contact with him, said the two ULFA factions cannot have peace negotiations together. They said the Baruah faction will show inclination to talks once the peace process with the pro-talks faction comes to an end. So, the agreement signed today is a big step towards bringing the Baruah faction to the talks table,” Sarma said.

Terming it as a historic day for Assam, he mentioned that more than 10,000 people had lost their lives during the ULFA’s long movement. If 400-500 of them who were security personnel are excluded, the rest were Assamese youths, he said.

Sarma claimed the recent delimitation exercise helped solve the political problem of Assam’s indigenous populace.

“The agreement signed with ULFA says future exercises for delimiting Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in Assam will be based on the principles of the recent delimitation. Some 95 to 100 seats (Assam has 126 Assembly segments), which were protected, will remain protected, he said.

“Migration affects the voters’ pattern in the constituencies. The pact with ULFA says migration will now depend on the fulfillment of several conditions,” Sarma said.

On the land rights of indigenous people, he said after the ULFA pact, “others” would not be able to purchase land within a radius of 5 km from an iconic structure. He also said that all suggestions in Clause 6 of the Assam Accord pertaining to land had been included in the ULFA pact.

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