Guwahati: United Liberation Front of Asom -ULFA (I) Commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah on Saturday called Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma as ‘catalyst’ and hailed him for his good hold and knowledge in Assam History.
This comes after the chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on the very first day of the New Year stated before the media that likewise Assam Government or centre, ULFA(I) chief Paresh Baruah also wants a negotiated settlement, adding that the only stumbling block is the demand for sovereignty.
In an exclusive conversation with TIME8, ULFA (I) chief Paresh Baruah said, “Our demand for sovereignty cannot be ruled out. It’s a major issue for ‘Axom’. We have heard CM Sarma a lot where he categorically spoke during the media interaction that the Government of India or Assam Government is looking forward to a negotiated settlement with ULFA(I) and we appreciate this. We are not going to name him as ‘mediator’ or ‘interlocutor’ rather we want to name him as ‘catalyst’. The word ‘catalyst’ is a very precious word, I am sure everyone will get me right. Assam Chief Minister is a smart politician and guardian of the state. He has good hold and knowledge about Assam history. He knows the importance of the issue, hence, he has been eyeing to solve the issue ever since he was sworn in as the chief minister of the state. Just like the given proverb “Morning shows the day”, he had expressed his views in a very positive note on the very first day of the New Year.”
Earlier, in the morning hours, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the era of tribal militancy is over in Assam as all insurgent groups have deposited their arms and are coming forward for talks with the government.
“Our last hurdle is ULFA-I, if you exclude ULFA, then every militant organization has deposited their weapons and the tribal insurgency in Assam has come to an end. The era of tribal militancy is over. From my personal interaction with various people who are directly or indirectly in touch with ULFA-I chief Paresh Baruah, it is clear that he also wants a negotiated settlement, and the Assam government or the Centre also wants a negotiated settlement. But the only stumbling block is the demand for sovereignty. We are working towards creating a new position where both the parties actually don’t feel like it is very difficult to talk,” Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said.