Historic peace accord signed between India, Assam, and ULFA pro-talks faction

ULFA Signs Peace Deal

New Delhi: In a breakthrough for peace and stability in the northeastern region, the Centre and the Assam government signed a peace agreement with the pro-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) insurgency group on Friday. The ULFA is one of the oldest and most violent separatist groups in India, which has waged a bloody armed struggle for an independent Assam since 1979.

The peace accord, which is the result of over a decade of negotiations, was signed by the Union Home Minister, Assam Chief Minister and a 16-member delegation of the ULFA faction led by its chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa. The signing ceremony was held at the Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi in the presence of senior officials from the Centre, Assam and the ULFA.

The peace accord aims to address the long-standing grievances and aspirations of the people of Assam, especially the indigenous communities, and to bring an end to the cycle of violence and bloodshed that has claimed thousands of lives over the years. The accord also promises a financial package for the development and welfare of Assam, as well as cultural and linguistic safeguards and land rights for the native people.

As part of the accord, the ULFA faction has agreed to abjure violence, surrender its arms and ammunition, and disband its armed wing. The ULFA faction has also accepted the Constitution of India and the territorial integrity of Assam and India. The Centre and the Assam government have assured the ULFA faction that they will withdraw all criminal cases against its members and facilitate their rehabilitation and reintegration into mainstream society.

The Union Home Minister hailed the peace accord as the beginning of a new era of peace and prosperity for the entire north-east, especially Assam. He said that the Centre and the Assam government will work together to implement the accord in letter and spirit and to fulfil the expectations of the ULFA faction and the people of Assam. He also appealed to the other ULFA faction, the Paresh Barua-led ULFA (Independent), to join the peace process and give up its demand for Assam’s sovereignty.

The ULFA (Independent), which operates from bases in Myanmar and China, has rejected the peace accord and vowed to continue its armed struggle for a sovereign Assam. The ULFA (Independent) is the only remaining faction of the ULFA that has not entered into peace talks with the government. The ULFA was formed on April 7, 1979, by a group of Assamese youth who were inspired by the idea of Assam’s sovereignty. The group split into two factions in 2010, after Rajkhowa and several other leaders were arrested and decided to enter into peace talks with the government.

ULFA Signs Peace Deal

The peace accord with the ULFA pro-talks faction is seen as a historic achievement for the Centre and the Assam government, as it marks the culmination of several attempts for a negotiated settlement with the ULFA since 1991. The accord is also expected to pave the way for lasting peace and development in the northeastern region, which has been plagued by various insurgencies and ethnic conflicts for decades.