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Peace talk process with ULFA begins, says Assam CM

December 28, 2009 19:13 IST
The peace talks process with top United Liberation Front of Asom leaders has started, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said on Monday but ruled out that the state's sovereignty would be on the agenda. "The process for talks has started but no breakthrough achieved. However, the government is optimistic," Gogoi told reporters in Guwahati.The issue of 'sovereignity of Assam', however, would never be on the agenda for talks, he said.

Meanwhile, ULFA chairman, Arbainda Rajkhowa held a long meeting with the banned outfit's deputy commander-in chief, Raju Baruah, vice-president, Pradip Gogoi, foreign secretary Sashadhar Choudhury, finance secretary, Chitraban Hazarika and publicity secretary, Mithinga Daimary in Guwahati Central Jail.

Jail sources said the meeting, which began in the late evening of Friday, continued till the following morning.ULFA-constituted Peoples Consultative Group member Lachit Bordoloi said "it is good that the ULFA top leaders are holding discussions among themselves. But an open environment away from jail will benefit them."

Rajkhowa, who was held by BSF near Indo-Bangladesh border in Tripura on December two, has been accorded special status as a political prisoner as per government instructions, jail sources said. Special food and other facilities are being provided to the ULFA chairman, the sources added.

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