Ulfa faction denies LS poll boycott, but not to vote
The Ulfa faction negotiating peace with the central government will refrain from voting in the Lok Sabha polls, said Ulfa general secretary Anup Chetia on Thursday.
However, the outfit will not boycott the polls as reported in a section of media. "There is no question of boycotting the Lok Sabha polls," he said.
The members of the outfit had not participated in electoral process since the inception of the outfit and they would not participate in the electoral process this time too, he added.
"We have never cast our votes and never took part in electoral process ever since the inception of Ulfa. Keeping with the tradition, we are going to refrain from voting this time as well," said Chetia.
The pro-talk Ulfa faction, which has been negotiating peace with the government, has about 2,500 cadres in their designated camps as of now.
"We are only going to refrain from the polls until the talks process is over and our demands are fulfilled," said Chetia.
Asked about the talks, Chetia said the ball was in the central government's court.
"We have held several rounds of discussion and submitted our charter of demands," he said adding they were waiting for the central government's response.
Majority of Ulfa leaders, including its chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa who had been holed up in Bangladesh were arrested by the Dhaka authorities in 2010 and handed over to Indian authorities in 2010.
Subsequently, they agreed to sit for talks and were released on bail.
However, Ulfa commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah had remained in Maynmar with a few of his comrades. They are yet to respond to the peace initiative of the government.
Chetia was arrested in Bangladesh on December 21, 1997 and was extradited to India in November 2015. After he was released on bail, Chetia also decided to join the peace talks.-IANS