GUWAHATI, June 14 � The Government of India has not changed its stand on the issue of talks with the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the members of the pro-talk faction of the outfit will have to move to designated camps before the formal talks begin.
Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that according to the stand of the Government of India, the pro-talk faction would also have to deposit their weapons before the talks, scheduled to start �as soon as possible.�
Sources said that though the leaders of the ULFA are reluctant to move to the designated camps, the Government of India refused to change its stand and the same principle would follow for all the groups. Different militant groups of Assam including the pro-talk faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and the DHD(J) have already accused the Central and State Governments of giving preferential treatment to the ULFA and under the circumstances, the Government is not keen on bending the pre-set norms for talks with the militant groups.
Sources said that the matter of setting up of designated camps was discussed with the leaders of the pro-talk group of the ULFA and they wanted to set up as many as nine camps in different parts of the state. However, the Government is not keen on setting up so many camps as it would be difficult to keep close watch on all the camps and providing security to the camps would also be a difficult proposition. The Government is also of the view that the pro-talk members should be kept in two or three camps. But the final decision in this regard is yet to be taken.
On the issue of the pro-talk ULFA members depositing weapons, sources said that according to intelligence inputs, the faction has more than 300 weapons with them. But no one is sure of the number of weapons available with the ULFA and the Government would have to accept what the leaders of the outfit say.
However, the Government may allow a few top leaders of the ULFA to keep their own security as was done in case of the leaders of the NSCN (I-M), sources said. However, the ULFA is yet to make such a demand.