Gorkhatimes

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Talks possible in conducive atmosphere: Arrested Ulfa leader

Posted by Ramesh Khati on November 13, 2009

Guwahati November 12, 2009(PTI): The United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) wants a “respectable solution” to Assam’s problems and is ready for talks with the Centre if they are “held in a conducive atmosphere”, an arrested leader of the banned group today said.

“We want a respectable solution to Assam’s problems and if the government shows interest, the Ulfa leadership can sit for negotiations for peace and stability of the state,” arrested ‘cultural secretary’ Pranati Deka told reporters after she was produced at the chief judicial magistrate’s court here in connection with a case filed against her by the state government.

She said the recent handing over of two top leaders — her husband and the group’s ‘finance secretary’ Chitrabon Hazarika and ‘foreign secretary’ Sasha Choudhury — by the Bangladesh government “does not mean that Ulfa has been weakened”.

Assam police’s Special Operation Unit interrogating the duo currently under its custody was concentrating mainly on Hazarika to find out the sources of Ulfa’s funding, a top police official said.

Hazarika has claimed before interrogators that several companies operating in Assam are still paying to the Ulfa and most of these payments are made through hawala, sources said.

Hazarika has also claimed that some surrendered Ulfa militants are helping the group in fund collection.

“We are investigating these claims but as these payments have been made through hawala transactions, there is no official document or proof to nail these companies,” the official said.

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