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Paresh Baruah rejects safe passage offer

By R Dutta Choudhury
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GUWAHATI, Sept 17 - The commander-in-chief of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent), Paresh Baruah has rejected Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi�s offer of safe passage to meet his ailing mother. Meanwhile, security agencies have expressed doubts on whether Gogoi�s offer is legally valid as an Interpol red corner alert against Baruah is still valid and he is wanted both in India and Bangladesh for his alleged involvement in a number of cases.

Talking to The Assam Tribune over phone from an undisclosed location this afternoon, the ULFA(I) leader rejected the Chief Minister�s offer of safe passage. He also rejected the Chief Minister�s offer for a grant of Rs 1 lakh for treatment of his ailing mother and said that his three brothers are fully capable of bearing the expenses of treatment. He said that the Chief Minister should use the money to provide help to the flood-hit people of the State.

Baruah said that if the Chief Minister is really interested in humanity, he should have allowed all members of the ULFA safe passage to see their ailing parents or to attend the last rites of their parents. �If Gogoi is interested in humanity, he should force the Centre to withdraw the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, which is affecting the human rights of the people of Assam for a long time,� he added.

The ULFA(I) leader said that the Chief Minister should show his humane face by trying to find the whereabouts of 26 ULFA members and leaders who are missing since the Operation All Clear in Bhutan in 2003 and their family members are still waiting to know the fate of their loved ones.

Baruah further said that instead of concentrating on the treatment of his mother only, the Chief Minister should ensure that all poor patients in the State get adequate medical treatment and all the flood-affected people get adequate care from the Government. �If Gogoi can give up the politics of power and money to serve all sections of people of Assam, the people will remember him for the years to come,� Baruah added.

Meanwhile, security agencies have expressed doubts on whether the Chief Minister can legally offer safe passage to the ULFA(I) leader as he is charged with several major crimes and an Interpol red corner notice was issued against him.

Highly placed security sources said that under the provisions of Section 41 of the CrPC, any police officer can arrest a person wanted in a cognizable offence or a proclaimed offender without any warrant and as Baruah was charged with several major cases, he cannot be allowed safe passage by the Chief Minister. Baruah is also declared as a proclaimed offender and in addition to police, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is also looking for him. He is also wanted in Bangladesh for an arms dealing case. Baruah is not only wanted in connection with cases registered under different Sections of the CrPC, but also under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Arms Act, Explosives Act, etc., and under the circumstances, the Chief Minister�s offer is legally questionable.

It will be a different scene if Baruah surrenders and joins the peace process as under such circumstances, the Government can adopt a lenient approach on him in the larger interest of restoration of peace, sources added.

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Paresh Baruah rejects safe passage offer

GUWAHATI, Sept 17 - The commander-in-chief of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent), Paresh Baruah has rejected Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi�s offer of safe passage to meet his ailing mother. Meanwhile, security agencies have expressed doubts on whether Gogoi�s offer is legally valid as an Interpol red corner alert against Baruah is still valid and he is wanted both in India and Bangladesh for his alleged involvement in a number of cases.

Talking to The Assam Tribune over phone from an undisclosed location this afternoon, the ULFA(I) leader rejected the Chief Minister�s offer of safe passage. He also rejected the Chief Minister�s offer for a grant of Rs 1 lakh for treatment of his ailing mother and said that his three brothers are fully capable of bearing the expenses of treatment. He said that the Chief Minister should use the money to provide help to the flood-hit people of the State.

Baruah said that if the Chief Minister is really interested in humanity, he should have allowed all members of the ULFA safe passage to see their ailing parents or to attend the last rites of their parents. �If Gogoi is interested in humanity, he should force the Centre to withdraw the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, which is affecting the human rights of the people of Assam for a long time,� he added.

The ULFA(I) leader said that the Chief Minister should show his humane face by trying to find the whereabouts of 26 ULFA members and leaders who are missing since the Operation All Clear in Bhutan in 2003 and their family members are still waiting to know the fate of their loved ones.

Baruah further said that instead of concentrating on the treatment of his mother only, the Chief Minister should ensure that all poor patients in the State get adequate medical treatment and all the flood-affected people get adequate care from the Government. �If Gogoi can give up the politics of power and money to serve all sections of people of Assam, the people will remember him for the years to come,� Baruah added.

Meanwhile, security agencies have expressed doubts on whether the Chief Minister can legally offer safe passage to the ULFA(I) leader as he is charged with several major crimes and an Interpol red corner notice was issued against him.

Highly placed security sources said that under the provisions of Section 41 of the CrPC, any police officer can arrest a person wanted in a cognizable offence or a proclaimed offender without any warrant and as Baruah was charged with several major cases, he cannot be allowed safe passage by the Chief Minister. Baruah is also declared as a proclaimed offender and in addition to police, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is also looking for him. He is also wanted in Bangladesh for an arms dealing case. Baruah is not only wanted in connection with cases registered under different Sections of the CrPC, but also under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Arms Act, Explosives Act, etc., and under the circumstances, the Chief Minister�s offer is legally questionable.

It will be a different scene if Baruah surrenders and joins the peace process as under such circumstances, the Government can adopt a lenient approach on him in the larger interest of restoration of peace, sources added.

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