Following pact with govt, ULFA disbanded 44 years after formation

Guwahati: The pro-talk ULFA, which had signed a tripartite agreement on December 29 last year, has been formally disbanded 44 years after it was formed, a senior leader of the outfit said.

According to a clause of the pact, ULFA shall abjure the path of violence, give up all arms and ammunition and disband the organisation within one month.

Forty-four years after it was formed, the United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa), which had set creating a sovereign Assam as its main goal, disbanded on Tuesday.

The decision was taken at the outfit’s final general meeting held at Sipajhar, located around 55km from Guwahati, 25 days after Ulfa signed a tripartite memorandum of settlement in New Delhi with the Centre and the Assam government on December 29.

“The decision to disband and dissolve the outfit was taken at the meeting today as stipulated by the settlement signed in Delhi. With this, the cases of sedition on the outfit will be lifted,” Ulfa chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa said. Reacting to the development, additional DGP (special branch) of Assam Police, Hiren Chandra Nath, said: “With today’s development, Ulfa ceases to exist.

The outfit’s leadership will formally hand over an intimation of this to the state government and it will be followed by their cadres vacating the designated camps and handing over of arms at an official event.”

The outfit will also have to vacate all the 9 designated camps (Nav Nirman Kendras) where ULFA cadres and their families were staying after coming for talks in 2011. Leadership of the outfit informed that their arms/ammunition will be handed over to the state government at a formal ceremony later this month.

The settlement promises a lumpsum ex-gratia payment to the cadres, funding of economic activities by them, vocational training, and government jobs depending on eligibility. It stated that criminal cases registered against ULFA cadres for non-heinous crimes will be withdrawn.

“We believe that the issues mentioned in the settlement and the assurances given to us by the Centre and the Assam government will be fulfilled,” said Rajkhowa.

He stated that the outfit would stay away from party politics but members in their capacity could join political parties if they desired.

“It’s an emotional and sad moment. We had given birth to the outfit and today due to circumstances we are forced to destroy it. All of us have made lot of sacrifices and given precious time of their lives to the outfit,” said Anup Chetia, ULFA general secretary.

In February 2011, ULFA split into two groups—one group led by chairman Rajkhowa that decided to give up its violent past and sit for talks with Centre without any condition and another led by Paresh Baruah, which decided against talks and rebranded as ULFA-Independent.