Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday January 4 said that he has requested the Central government to expedite the peace parleys with the pro-talks faction of Paresh Barua-led ULFA (Independent), and also appealed to the militant outfit to refrain from giving a boycott call on Republic Day in Assam.
The Chief Minister said that the Central Government has been in touch with ULFA-I (United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent).
“I have informally requested the Union government to expedite the peace parleys with the ULFA-I before beginning formal dialogue with the outfit,” he told the media at the end of a two-day conference of Superintendents of Police of 34 districts in Duliajan.
Sarma’s statement comes a day after the ULFA-I leaders claimed that the Centre was not serious in resolving their demands and issues.
The outlawed outfit ULFA-I had announced a unilateral ceasefire for three months on May 15 immediately after the new BJP-led government headed by Sarma had assumed charge on May 10.
The Chief Minister said that the debate on Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA) would be over and there will be some good outcome by March this year.
“You will see AFSPA is technically linked to the Army and the Army is not operating in large parts of Assam except five to six districts of Assam,” he said.
The current six months term of the AFSPA in Assam will end on February 28.
The demand for repeal of AFSPA from the northeast region revived after 14 civilians were killed by the security forces in Mon district of Nagaland in December.
The demand was made to the Centre even by the Chief Ministers of Nagaland and Meghalaya.
The Act is in force in Assam, Nagaland, Manipur (excluding seven of the 60 Assembly constituencies) and Changlang, Longding and Tirap districts of Arunachal Pradesh, and areas falling within the jurisdiction of the eight police stations of districts in Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam, and is extended its term every six months after review of the security situation.