GUWAHATI, July 10 – The steering committee of the Sanmilita Jatiya Abhibartan (SJA) today said that it has sent a letter to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram asking him to clarify as to whether he had ever made any statement suggesting that talks with the militant outfit ULFA could be held inside the jail.
Steering committee spokesman Dr Hiren Gohain told newspersons at a press conference here that the letter to the Union Home Minister was sent on July 6.
He also said that Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had sent a reply to the SJA on Thursday on the communication the steering committee had made with him on the issue of holding negotiation with ULFA.
The Chief Minister said in his letter that there were some judicial problems in releasing the detained ULFA leaders.
He also sought assurance from the ULFA leaders that they would abjure violence.
Moreover, the Chief Minister said in his letter that the underground leaders of the outfit ‘should also be brought within the negotiation process,’ informed Dr Gohain.
But, the SJA spokesman said, for the decision on shunning violence, the ULFA central committee should be able to hold its meeting. Even in the case of involving the underground leaders of the militant outfit in the negotiation process, its central committee alone had the authority to settle the matter, he said.
He said that the impression gathered by the SJA delegation in its meeting with the Union Home Minister on the release of the detained ULFA leaders was quite different than what had been reported by a section of the media on the issue. This had compelled the SJA to write to the Union Home Minister on the issue, he said.
The SJA, going by the mandate of its April 24, 2010 Machkhowa convention, has also included nine full-fledged members to give equal representation to all the areas of the State. The newly inducted members include—Dr Mangal Singh Hajowari of Kokrajhar, Deepali Chaliha, a former principal of Sivasagar Commerce College, Ramani Barman of Nalbari, who is also a former Education Minister of the State, Dr Basanta Doley of Silapathar, Arun Goswami of Dergaon, Dr Pona Mahanta of Dibrugarh, Pradip Saikia a former principal of Nagaon College, Ambika Charan Choudhury of Bongaigaon and Prof Purneswar Nath of Tezpur.
Besides, the SJA steering committee at its meeting today also decided to request the state presidents of all the political parties, including the ruling Congress, to become its members with a view to making the organisation a broad-based one, Dr Gohain said.