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Centre rules out talks with ULFA (I), NDFB (S)

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, July 27 - The Centre today ruled out the possibility of holding any dialogue with the Paresh Baruah and Songbijit factions of the ULFA and the NDFB respectively. In a Rajya Sabha Question Hour discussion, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said that with regard to the ULFA faction led by Paresh Baruah, there is no formal offer or anything because it is still engaged in anti-national activities. So there is no proposal of talks with this ULFA faction.

�The gruesome killing of innocent people by the NDFB (Songbijit) on December 23, 2014, in Assam had led to an operation which was carried out jointly by the State and Central forces. We also got support of the Government of Bhutan. Therefore, there is no question of talks with the NDFB (Songbijit) because it has carried out mass killing of innocent people,� Rijiju said.

�We have already stated our position very clearly that the Government is not averse to talking to the militants, but the only condition is that they must abjure violence. Once they give up arms, they will be welcomed back to the mainstream,� Rijiju added.

Earlier, MP Ripun Bora said that the minister has mentioned that there are 13 insurgent groups in Assam with which suspension of operations agreements have been entered into. But with regard to the ULFA headed by Paresh Baruah and the NDFB headed by Songbijit, there has been no suspension of operations agreement so far. All the suspension of operations agreements which have been made with the 13 insurgent groups were entered into by the earlier Congress-led UPA Government. Has the NDA Government taken any initiative to bring the ULFA(I) and the NDFB (S) to the negotiating table, and to enter into suspension of operations agreements with them?

In reply, Rijiju said there are three steps when the Government enters into peace talks with a particular group. �We have ceasefire with some of the groups and there is the third category, which is suspension of operations. There are various categories during which the Government takes a position. With regard to surrender and rehabilitation steps, which are being implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs, we are in touch with the State governments,�� he said.

�If the State governments of the North-East are willing to take certain proactive steps, the Home Ministry is always there to support and take along their views,� Rijiju added.

Earlier, Bora had said that many members of the insurgent groups with which the suspension of operations agreements have been entered into are not staying at designated camps. They are staying with their families and leading normal lives. �If you allow this to go on like this by paying only Rs 3,000 as maintenance per month, it will not solve the problem of insurgency and they may again go underground. So, can the Government not modify the rule that during the suspension of operations, the militants cannot take the rehabilitation programme?� he asked.

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