ULFA-I ends its Independence Day boycott call since 1996: says open discussion

The United Liberation Front of Asom – Independent (ULFA-I) Tuesday lifted the tradition and said it will not call for a bandh on Independence Day.

A statement, signed by the outfit’s ‘publicity cell’ member Rumel Asom, said ULFA-I will neither engage in an “armed protest” nor call for “any kind of bandh” this Independence Day, on account of numerous issues, including “Covid -19 pandemic, border conflicts in South-Asian region, floods and erosion and problems of unemployment.”However, it urged people to protest the day “democratically” by unfurling the ULFA flag, wearing black badges, and waving black flags, keeping Covid-19 protocols in place.

Claiming that the state was “never a part of colonial India”, still perpetuates the objection to celebrating Independence Day.

The outfit, which had declared a three-month ceasefire in May, said that it was not calling for a bandh on Independence Day this year keeping in mind the hardships faced by the people due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May the Chief Minister of Assam had appealed the ULFA-I chief Paresh Baruah to leave the path of violence and return to normal. Following which a few days later the outfit called a unilateral ceasefire for three months.

 However, In a statement issued on Tuesday, the outfit said: “We are open to talks but the discussions have to be in line with the objective of the outfit – that is to restore sovereignty.”

It seems the Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma’s efforts to bring ULFA (I) to the discussion table and sign the elusive peace agreement seems to be bearing fruitful as the militant outfit has now decided against a call to boycott the Independence Day this year, a first since 1996.

 “India has amended the Constitution 104 times. Why can’t it amend it once more to sit for a discussion with us?”  ULFA-I has demanded that the government bring in a Constitutional amendment as a step towards the discussions.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button