The Guwahati central jail, where several top leaders of the proscribed outfit United Liberation Front of Asom are currently lodged, has become a venue for its leaders to restart the peace process, albeit with the tacit approval of the government, say their lawyer.
According to Bijon Mahajan, lawyer of interned ULFA 'foreign secretary' Sasha Choudhury and 'finance secretary' Chitroban Hazarika, the investigating agency could have asked for further police custody before the chief judicial magistrate on Monday, but that did not happen.
Not pressing for their police custody amply hinted that the government wanted Choudhury and Hazarika to be in jail to meet their comrades, ULFA 'vice chairman' Pradeep Gogoi and 'publicity secretary' Mithinga Daimary, Mahajan said.
On the reported intense discussions among top ULFA leaders inside the jail for the past two days, Mahajan said, "This is a positive move as the four ULFA leaders could share their views on the peace parleys."
"I consider this as a good beginning and a strategy well planned by the government to allow them to hold discussions inside the jail," the lawyer said.
The four are being kept in a common cell so that they can talk about the peace process in the larger interest of the state, jail sources said. There are also reports that ULFA ideologue and 'advisor' Bhimkanta 'mama' Buragohain, captured in 2003, may be shifted to Guwahati from Tezpur jail to forward the peace process.
The government could also speed up the interrogation of arrested ULFA 'chairman' Arabinda Rajkhowa and 'deputy commander-in-chief' Raju Baruah, to send them to the Guwahati jail for participating in the discussions with their comrades there, official sources said.