Ulfa threatens to pull out of peace talks

GUWAHATI: Ulfa‘s pro-talk faction has threatened to pull out of the ‘peace talks’ with the Centre if the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed in Parliament. The Bill, which was passed in Lok Sabha on January 8, is now awaiting clearance in the Rajya Sabha.

Ulfa leader Mrinal Hazarika on Saturday said that if the Centre moved ahead with the Bill, the ongoing peace talks would be impacted. “There is widespread resentment among the people of Assam against the Bill. In such a situation, it will be difficult to continue with the peace talks if the Centre moves ahead with the passage of the bill,” he said here.

The dialogue between Ulfa’s pro-talk faction and the Centre started in 2011.

Hazarika said that the bill, which threatens the identity of the state, would render the talks meaningless if passed.

Pro-talk Ulfa leaders had earlier warned that youths would be “forced to take up arms” because of the bill that seeks to grant migrants belonging to religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Along with Assam, other Northeast states, including those ruled by the BJP-led governments are also up in arms against the bill.

Meghalaya government has passed a resolution in the Assembly against the bill, while Manipur has recently asked the Centre to keep the proposed legislation.

On Saturday, Mrinal Hazarika along with another senior Ulfa pro-talk leader Anup Chetia was here after they were summoned by police on charge of gheraoing BJP office here on January 6.

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