At least 20 key members of the proscribed United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), along with their family members, have surrendered, giving a massive boost to the ongoing negotiations with the militant outfit.
Confirming the development, the outfit's self-styled commander-in-chief Paresh Barua in an e-mail, said some of his close aides, including 'captains' Bhaiti Barua, Biju Deka, Pradyut Gohain and central publicity cell member Anu Buragohain had surrendered before Indian security forces.
Barua termed it "very unfortunate development" for the 'revolution' of the outfit that is fighting for "freedom" of Assam.
Barua said, "The latest surrender by ULFA leaders is part of the 'drama of peace talks 'that was being enacted by "colonial Indian government' along with the jailed ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa and other senior leaders of the outfit."
The outfit's chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, deputy commander -in-chief Raju Baruah, foreign secretary Sasha Choudhury and finance secretary Chitraban Hazarika are currently lodged in a jail in Assam.