GUWAHATI, Aug 8 � No leader of the pro-talk faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) will be allowed to carry weapons and those having security threat will be provided PSOs for their protection.
Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that the pro-talk faction of the ULFA would have to surrender weapons immediately after the signing of the agreement for suspension of operations. However, it is yet to be decided whether the weapons would be kept in the custody of the police or whether those would be kept in the double lock system in the camps to be set up for keeping the members of the outfit. Sources said that in the double lock system, the weapons are kept in the camps and one key is kept with the leader of the camp and the other with the police.
Sources said that the agreement for suspension of operations would be signed within this month after the details are worked out and on behalf of the Government of India, it would be signed by the Joint Secretary (North East) of the MHA. Though the ULFA had initially opposed the idea of staying in the designated camps, it has been decided that the members of the outfit would be kept in nine camps to be set up in different parts of the State. However, the camps may not be termed as designated camps and some different nomenclature may be given to the camps. The pro-talk faction members of the ULFA told the Government that their cadre strength would be around 300 but the full list of members would be submitted by the outfit at the time of signing of the formal agreement for suspension of operations from both sides. It may be mentioned here that the pro-talk faction of the ULFA has already declared a unilateral cease-fire for an indefinite period.
Replying to a question on whether the Government has any estimate of the number of weapons in possession of the members of the pro-talk group of the ULFA, sources said that the number should be around 150 or so. The Bangladesh authorities had seized a number of weapons from the ULFA members during the crackdown launched in 2009.
The pro-talk ULFA group submitted its charter of demands to the Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram on August 5 and the formal talks with the outfit would begin after the Central and State Governments go through the charter. In the initial stage, the Centre�s interlocutor PC Haldar would be talking with the leaders of the outfit, sources added.
Meanwhile, sources said that according to information available with the Government of India, the leader of the anti-talk faction of the ULFA, Paresh Baruah is still in Myanmar but he visited China in recent times. Though Paresh Baruah is maintaining a hard line on the issue of talks, he is running the outfit mostly with greenhorns and new recruits who have been put on the job only with limited training, MHA sources said.