SIVASAGAR, Jan 2 � ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa was warmly welcomed at a function at Sivasagar Boarding Field today.
Rajkhowa, addressing the mammoth gathering on the occasion, said that an unconditional and peaceful political dialogue may put an end to the outfit�s three-decade-long struggle for the right to self-determination of the people of Assam.
He said that ULFA will adhere to the decision taken by the people. �We respect the Sanmilita Jatiya Abhibartan�s resolution� and stick to an unconditional dialogue, he said. If a congenial atmosphere for a dialogue does not take place and if the talks fail, we will come to the people once again and take their verdict whether we should take up arms once again or we should join politics,� Rajkhowa added, indicating a shift in their ideological stand.
However, the ULFA chairman clarified that talks cannot take place without the release of all jailed ULFA leaders, including Anup Chetia, in custody in Bangladesh.
Rajkhowa said that the ULFA does not support war and terror tactics or to have a military solution to their struggle though it was an armed struggle. He blamed a section of selfish people for the continuous delay in initiating a peaceful dialogue with the government, who, he said, were reaping benefits by delaying a solution for their own interest. Rajkhowa refuted allegations of fratricidal strife among the ULFA cadres.
Rajkhowa was accorded a rousing reception by over a hundred organizations today on his homecoming at different places all along the NH-37 and from Nazira Ali up to his birthplace Lakwa where he addressed the supporters at around 7 in the evening.
Representatives of various organizations cutting across political party lines, cultural groups, citizen�s organizations, youth organizations, tribal groups and religious organizations gave a cheerful reception to Rajkhowa on his arrival at Sivasagar Rangghar this afternoon.
Our Jorhat Correspondent adds: On his homeward journey, ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa was greeted by several organizations and persons at a meeting at Baruah Chariali in Jorhat today.
The organizations that gathered to welcome the released leader of the outfit were Sanmilita Jorhat Zila Nagarik Abhibartan Samiti, Jorhat district unit of Manab Adhikar Surakshya Samiti, Jorhat district unit of Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba-Chatra Parishad, Jorhat Zila Sahitya Sabha, Jorhat district unit of Brihattar Asomiya Yuva Mancha, Jorhat district unit of Sadou Asam Chutia Jati Yuva Sanmillan, Jorhat district unit of Sado Asom Nagarik Santha and Dakshin Jorhat Mahila Samiti.
Rajkhowa delivered a brief speech addressing the assembled crowd and requested the people not to be misguided by any rumours on the issue of sovereignty during the peace talks. He further stated that the pro-talk group of ULFA also did not give up the demand of sovereignty.
Our Tezpur Correspondent adds: Various organizations including AASU, AJYCP, Asom Unnati Sabha, Sahitya Sabha, etc., on Saturday offered a warm welcome to the ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa at various places including Sirajuli, Dhekiajuli and at Swahid Bakori here in Sonitpur. Rajkhowa was on his way to his home district Sivasagar immediately after being released from the Guwahati Central Jail on Saturday.
Replying to the warm welcome at a public meeting at Swahid Bakori, the ULFA chairman urged the people not to be confused about the peace process of the organization with the government, as ULFA would never take any major decision without taking consent of the people of Assam. Rajkhowa said he was happy to meet the people in such a way after long 30 years since his joining ULFA. The top leader of the organization while addressing a mass gathering here further added that he would tell the people of Assam whatever needs to be disclosed in the days to come.
The top ULFA leader, who was accompanied by the vice-chairman of the organization Pradip Gogoi and Kaberi Kochari, expressing gratitude towards the Assam government and the Jatiya Abhibartan for initiating the peace process said that the help and contribution of the people of Tezpur during any bad time for Assamese people has always been noteworthy.
It needs mention here that from Sirajuli till Tezpur along the NH-52, people along with members of different organizations welcomed the ULFA chairman with sloganeering.