GUWAHATI, Dec 14 - No revolution depends on any particular leader, asserted the commander-in-chief of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent), Paresh Baruah.
He also revealed that the issue of Manipur-based armed groups joining the umbrella body of the militant groups of the North East would be finalised within this month.
Talking to The Assam Tribune over phone, Baruah said that their struggle for independence is not dependent on any particular leader. He said that over the years, the ULFA had seen change of chairmanship four times and Dr Abhizeet Hazarika is the fourth chairman. In 2010, everyone thought that the ULFA would be finished after several senior members were arrested and later they decided to hold talks with the Government of India. But the organisation survived and different wings of the outfit are still carrying out their activities smoothly, he claimed.
Reacting to the assertion of the former Director General of Assam Police, GM Srivastava that Baruah would be completely isolated if the ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia joins the peace process, the ULFA(I) leader said that the former DGP made the statement out of frustration as he had tried to finish off the ULFA, but failed to do so. He said that it is up to Chetia to decide whether he would join the peace talks and his views would be known only after he is released from jail. However, Baruah said that Chetia is a senior leader of the ULFA and his contributions and sacrifices cannot be overlooked.
Baruah said that both Chetia and himself were present in the meeting where the final shape was given before creation of the ULFA . �Myself and Chakra Gohain were the first persons who started the armed struggle of the ULFA. Gohain is no longer in the ULFA. I may not see our goal being achieved in my lifetime, but the new generation will carry forward the struggle,� he said.
The ULFA(I) leader asserted that the struggle would continue till the goal is achieved. He said that they are opposed to the peace talks between the Government and the ULFA as the core demand has been given up. But at the same time, he said that the ULFA (I) would not pose hurdles in the way of the talks. �Let us see what they can achieve and how the people of Assam react to the same,� he said.
Replying to a question on whether they consider ULFA and ULFA(I) as separate entities, he said that they decided to add the word �Independent� because the Government may try to question the legitimacy of the demand for independence after signing an accord with the pro-talk group.
Baruah revealed that some members of the pro-talk faction are joining the ULFA(I). He, however, claimed that they did not pressurise anyone to join their fold. �People are coming to us on their own will and we are allowing them to join only after a thorough scrutiny as the possibility of the enemy sending some people to destabilise our organisation cannot be ruled out.� he said.
The ULFA(I) leader reiterated that the Manipur-based armed groups are likely to join the common platform of armed groups of the North East within this month. He said that seven Manipur-based groups have already joined a common platform called the CORCOM. But there are certain disciplinary issues among them, and it is up to them to settle the issues so that the CORCOM can join the platform together, he added.