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Centre treading cautiously on ULFA talks

December 03, 2009 21:14 IST

The Centre is treading cautiously on holding deliberations with the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom as it does not want to repeat the 1992 experience when five leaders of the rebel group released for talks availed the opportunity to go underground.

Following Union Home Minister P Chidambaram expressing willingness on Wednesday to talk to ULFA if the group abjures violence, there was the reported detention of ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa in Bangladesh who also spoke about carrying forward the peace process.

But despite the extension of olive branches from both sides, officials in the home ministry are not willing to jump the gun as previous attempts of talks during former prime minister P V Narsimha Rao's tenure had caused embarrassment to the Intelligence agencies, official sources said.

"We are looking at all aspects before anything concrete can be declared. We do not want to take any chances," a source said.

In 1992, attempts to bring the ULFA leadership to the table failed as the leaders, including general secretary Anup Chetia, who were released from jail for talks, took the opportunity to go underground and later flee to Bangladesh where they had set up their camps.

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