Bangladesh crackdown pushes ULFA leaders toward joining in peace dialogue

Anup Chetia e1704042808607

Image source: deccanherald

ULFA ‘general secretary’ Anup Chetia said that they had come to the realization that Bangladesh was no longer a safe haven for them. He added that they had nowhere to go, considering they had already been expelled from Bhutan in 2003.

ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa arrived at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati after the signing of a peace accord between ULFA and the central and Assam governments in Delhi on December 31, 2023.

Leaders of the insurgent group ULFA attribute their decision to join peace talks in 2011 to the crackdown by the “pro-India” Awami League government in Bangladesh against Indian insurgent groups. ULFA’s ‘foreign secretary’ Sashadhar Choudhury explained that the change in Bangladesh’s stance, aiming to support India, prompted them to engage in talks, ending the 44-year-long armed movement.

Choudhury, arrested in Bangladesh in 2010 along with other senior ULFA leaders, highlighted the adverse conditions in Bangladesh, where they were no longer safe. With key leaders incarcerated and no secure haven, ULFA felt compelled to respond to the peace talks initiated by civil society organizations in Assam.

The ‘Operation All Clear’ in Bhutan in 2003 had already expelled Indian insurgents, and ULFA, formed in 1979, had been seeking a sovereign Assam. While ULFA leaders signed the pact on December 29, 2023, in New Delhi, the Paresh Baruah-led faction, ULFA-Independent, remains in Myanmar, pressing for discussions on the sovereignty of Assam.



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