Dialogue with ULFA outfit may begin soon, says interlocutor

Hopes of holding peace talks between the Central Government and the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) have brightened with the government's interlocutor indicating that the dialogue process may begin soon.

The Centre's interlocutor, P.C. Haldar said the government and the ULFA leadership were inching closer to start parleys for bringing lasting peace to Assam.

"The government is interested in having peace talks. So far, the indications are that the ULFA is also interested in the peace talks. The nitty-gritty that who is coming and who is not coming will be clear later," he added.

Haldar refused to give the exact time frame when the talks could begin.

"I do not give a time frame. I try and expedite the process but I do not give time frame primarily because many factors are involved. So, I only hope that it will start soon enough," he said.

Top leaders of the outfit, including its chief Arabinda Rajkhowa, were released from jail recently to facilitate their participation in peace talks.

Five more ULFA leaders including its Vice-Chairman Pradip Gogoi, Deputy Commander in Chief Raju Barua, Central Publicity Secretary Mithinga Daimari, Cultural Secretary Pranati Deka and Adviser Bhimkanta Buragohain have already been released on bail.

General Secretary' Chitraban Hazarika and self-styled Foreign Secretary Sasha Choudhary are still in a jail after their arrest along with Rajkhowa in Meghalaya in December 2009.

However, the ULFA's elusive commander-in-chief, Paresh Baruah, is still opposed to holding talks with the government. (ANI)