R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, Aug 12 – The Government of India is planning to sign peace pacts with at least two militant groups of Assam within a month, while, efforts are on to rope in another to sign such a pact. The Government has also made it clear that there is no possibility of re-drawing the boundary of Assam at any cost.
A team of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today held talks with Karbi Anglong based militant group KLNLF here and urged the outfit to sign the agreement already reached with another Karbi Anglong based militant group United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS).
Joint Secretary (North East) of the MHA, Sambhu Singh, who led the Central team in the talks today, told The Assam Tribune after the meeting that the Government has already reached an agreement with the UPDS and only the formal agreement is to be signed. The Government is of the view that the KLNLF should also sign the same agreement but the outfit has not agreed to do so as yet.
Singh said that the KLNLF has now been insisting on
creation of a state within a state under the provisions of the Article 244 (A) of the Constitution of India. But the Centre pointed out to the KLNLF leadership that the formula of creation of state within the state failed miserably in the past and there is no reason for repeating the same experiment. “We have told the KLNLF leadership that they should sign the same agreement along with the UPDS or else they would gain nothing. They have been given time till Tuesday next to take a decision in this regard and to inform the additional Director General of Police (Special Branch) of their decision by Wednesday,” he added.
The MHA official said that the Government of India is keen on taking everyone on board and is sympathetic to the demands of the militant groups, but if the KLNLF refuses to the sign the same agreement with the UPDS, the outfit would be the ultimate loser. He also pointed out that the Government of India has not been treating the militants as enemies of the nation and the stand of the Government is that though the militants are misguided, “they are our own people and we are sympathetic to them.”
However, the Government is not recognizing the newly formed militant group Karbi People’s Liberation Tiger (KPLT) as the representatives of the Karbi people and the members of the outfit indulging in unlawful activities as criminals.
Meanwhile, the Government is also planning to sign an agreement with the Dima Halam Dougah (Jewel) within a month. Singh said that the talks with the outfit have been progressing satisfactorily and the release of the Chairman of the outfit Jewel Garlosa and commander-in-chief Niranjan Hojai on bail today cleared the decks for signing of the formal agreement with the outfit. However, no decision has been taken on withdrawal of cases against the leaders and members of the DHD(J), but it has been decided that around a hundred of cadres of the outfit would be appointed in the Assam Police force. The State and Central Governments have already started the official procedures for appointments of DHD(J) cadres in the police force, he added.
However, it may take some more time to complete the process of talks with the DHD(N) and some of the demands of the outfit are yet to be addressed. However, both the Central and State Governments are keen on early solution of the problem, Singh added.