Second round of Centre-ULFA talks tomorrow

Guwahati: A high-level pro-talk ULFA delegation, led by chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, left for New Delhi today to hold the second round of talks with the Centre to resolve the long-standing issues.

The delegation is scheduled to meet Union Home Secretary R K Singh tomorrow to review the progress of the talks and to ensure that the process was expedited.

"The discussion is likely to be held on the charter of demands already submitted to the Centre last year," a senior outfit leader and a close associate of the chairman, Arpon Saikia told PTI here.

The leaders will also urge the Centre to ensure that the security and basic needs of cadres living in designated camps were looked into as a matter of top priority, he said.

Rajkhowa had earlier asserted that the outfit wanted the talks process to be expedited and would not tolerate "delaying tactics" by the Centre. He had said that in case of delay, the ULFA would return for consultations with the people and take steps accordingly.

The pro-talk faction had submitted its charter of demands to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in August last year which was followed by the first round of talks with the Union Home Ministry in October.

The 12-point charter of demands, include constitutional amendments to give Assam greater control over its natural resources, revenue generation, participation in the planning process, ensuring a secure demographic situation, besides accelerated and balanced development.

Besides Rajkhowa, the delegation comprises vice- chairman Pradip Gogoi, `foreign secretary` Sasha Choudhury, `finance Secretary` Chitrabon Hazarika, publicity secretary Mithinga Daimary and `deputy commander in chief` Raju Baruah.