Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma has appealed to the ULFA-I to return to the mainstream and join the dialogue process.
The Assam chief minister made this appeal while speaking at the Independence Day parade held at the Veterinary field in Guwahati on Sunday.
“On behalf of the people of Assam, I appeal to Paresh Barua to come forward for dialogue. Let no youth of our state be killed anymore,” he said.
CM Sarma also said, “We are grateful to PM Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah for steering peace in the region.”
The outfit has also declared a unilateral ceasefire since May this year in view of the pandemic situation.
The Chief Minister also expressed his gratitude to COVID warriors for their unrelenting war on the pandemic.
The ULFA (I), which had been calling for Assam Bandh on Independence Day and Republic Day for several decades, refrained from the practice for the first time this year.
Notably, the ULFA-I, on Saturday, announced an extension of its unilateral ceasefire for three more months.
The decision to extend the ceasefire has been taken by ULFA-I bears significance at a time when both the outfit and the government expressed willingness to come to the talks table.
In the 40-year-old history of the ULFA-I, the outfit for the first time has not announced any bandh call on Independence Day.
Sarma also expressed gratitude to all COVID warriors, including doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians, and ambulance drivers, for working tirelessly in the pandemic.
He also congratulated boxer Lovlina Borgohain for her Olympic bronze medal and said that her success is an inspiration for all.
The chief minister paid tributes to the six Assam Police personnel killed in violence along the inter-state border with Mizoram on July 26.
He said that the Assam government is committed to resolving the border disputes without compromising with the state’s constitutional boundary.
The chief minister announced that the freedom fighters’ pension issued by the state government will be increased to Rs 36,000 at par with the central remuneration and state honours will be accorded to all these former revolutionaries during their last rites.
CM Sarma said that the Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021, which was passed by the assembly on Friday, shows the state government’s resolve to protect the cultural ethos of the state. He said the government is committed to eradicating poverty through population control and will carry on its war against drugs, human trafficking, and other social menaces.