India called off its truce with the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) moving several Army columns to re-launch anti-militant operations in Tinsukia and Jorhat districts in upper Assam and in Nagaon, Barpeta, and Darrang districts in lower Assam. The ULFA cites fictitious grievances to continue its reign of extortion and terror and India while not giving up on the peace process has decided to pursue a persuasion option.
Over a period of time, India has been extending the ceasefire several times waiting for the group to respond to its offer for direct talks. India gave up on indirect negotiations through intermediaries in New Delhi and wanted a letter from ULFA acknowledging its adherence to the ceasefire. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said even though India has expressed its “willingness to discuss all issues,” ULFA must meet “certain pre-conditions” for the peace process to “yield fruitful results.”
However, the ULFA says it cannot make decisions because 5 senior leaders are in jails and therefore it does not have a quorum to make decisions. Apparently, National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan has informed one of the intermediaries, Indira Goswami that the peace process will continue.
India says that the operations by 28 Battalion against the ULFA are aimed at preventing its cadres from re-grouping. The Army says that the ULFA has continued to hit “soft targets such as killing and adducting tea garden officials or targeting Government installations.” A major offensive launched by the Army over the weekend has already seen some results. A hard-core militant wanted for many crimes has been killed and several weapons recovered.