Guwahati, May 24 (PTI) Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday appealed to banned militant outfit ULFA(I)'s chief Paresh Barua to come to the discussion table in order to give a violence-free society to the next generation.
Replying to a discussion on the Motion of Thanks on the Governor's address in the assembly, Sarma thanked Barua for releasing kidnapped ONGC employee Ritul Saikia unharmed following his (chief minister's) appeal.
Saikia, kidnapped on April 21, was released by the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) militants near the India-Myanmar border in Longwa village of Mon district in Nagaland on May 22.
'It is a sign of hope. I think Paresh Barua must be around 65 years, I am 52 years and our former CM Sarbananda Sonowal will be nearing 60 years. We all are ageing. We need to give a peaceful and violence-free Assam to the next generation.
'So, the government and the ULFA need to sit and talk.
The Central government has good intentions and will support it. I appeal to the ULFA commander-in-chief Paresh Barua to come to the discussion table,' Sarma said.
Recently, the ULFA(I) has announced a unilateral ceasefire for three months.
The chief minister also informed the House that the government is on the way to sign a Karbi Accord to bring peace to Karbi Anglong region in line with the signing of the Bodo Accord inked in January 2020.
There are several militant outfits in the region that fight for a separate land for the people belonging to the Karbi tribe.
BJP MLA Bhubon Pegu commended the government for its role in securing the release of Saikia, who returned home hale and hearty.
'The government led from the front. The people have got the message that the government is with them,' he said, adding that there is now hope of a lasting solution to the ULFA issue.
AGP MLA Ramendra Narayan Kalita suggested that a unanimous appeal should be sent to the ULFA(I) from the Assembly, calling upon the insurgent group to come for talks.
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