[Assam] Conciliatory ideation suggestion is applauded. Call the ULFA insincere if the organisation avoids coming to Assam’s Sovereignty restoration talks. India must swallow the bitter pill and tinker with her constitution to let go of Assam.

Bartta Bistar barttabistar at googlemail.com
Sun May 20 23:14:59 PDT 2007

Ulfa sees opportunity

And Delhi remains blind to a fault
More than 100 have been killed in Assam this year so far and Upper Assam saw
a return to unrest. In protest against the killing of a villager by the Army
in what they saw as a fake encounter, villagers blocked National Highway 37
in the Doomdooma area on 8 May, disrupting supplies of essential commodities
to tea gardens. Infuriated tea garden workers clashed with the protesters
and one person was killed – elsewhere four more reportedly died last Sunday
~ prompting the authorities to clamp curfew. Such incidents serve Ulfa to
take up cudgels for the aggrieved party and announce its presence as well.
Little wonder then that a self-styled Ulfa commander warned of "capital
punishment" for those who attacked the protesters, "culprits" he claimed to
have identified. The blockade has not only hit the gardens but also
Arunachal Pradesh and the authorities must ensure smooth traffic flow.
With every passing day the chances of Assam returning to normality are
fading. Despite losing a number of militant leaders in the ongoing Army
operations, the Ulfa refuses to be subdued, not surprising because it has
the strong backing of foreign agencies. It is time Dispur realised how fast
the situation is changing. A fresh peace initiative is not likely to come
from the Ulfa leadership. Delhi might have to make a conciliatory move. As
suggested earlier, perhaps the best way to break the jinx would involve a
little flexibility on the Ulfa's demand for the release of five of its
leaders, of course with the guarantee that they will not rejoin their
leaders in exile, as many have done in the past. That gesture should also
put Ulfa's sincerity for talks to the test.
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