Govt wants early talks with ULFA: Gogoi

Guwahati: The government has not thought of granting general amnesty to ULFA though it can give safe passage to the rebels to start peace talks as early as possible, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said on Monday.

"We want the peace talks with the ULFA to start as soon as possible, but the ultimate decision has to be taken by them and not us. They have to sit for their general council meeting for taking a decision," Gogoi told reporters here.

On grant of general amnesty to ULFA, Gogoi said, "We have not thought about it now, but can give them safe passage."

About participation of ULFA `commander-in-chief` Paresh Baruah in the discussions, Gogoi said, "It is up to them whether he takes part in the talks. Our doors are always open.

"Will I not proceed with the talks if Paresh Baruah does not want to come? If he comes he is most welcome. Those who abjure violence can talk with the government within the framework of the constitution."

Asked about ULFA `chairman` Arabinda Rajkhowa threatening that he might take up arms again if there was no solution after the talks, Gogoi said, "I have made it very clear that those indulging in violence will be be sternly dealt with and there will be no compromise."

On Rajkhowa`s request for ULFA `general secretary` Anup Chetia currently in a jail in Bangladesh be brought to India prior to the talks, Gogoi said, "We will do whatever is needed to facilitate the peace process."