Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said the era of tribal militancy is over in the state as all insurgent groups are coming forward for talks with the government. Addressing a press conference here, Sarma also said demand for a discussion on sovereignty by the ULFA(I) was a stumbling block and his government is trying to break the impasse.
“The era of tribal militancy is over. All militant groups have come forward… Our last hurdle is ULFA(I). Excluding them, all other outfits have surrendered arms,” he said. Sarma said civil society organisations and students’ bodies have played a very positive role to address the problem of tribal militancy in the state.
The CM said he has learnt from his interactions with people who are directly or indirectly in touch with ULFA(I) chief Paresh Barua that the militant leader is in favour of a “negotiated settlement”. The stumbling block is sovereignty’. The ULFA(I) wants a discussion over it, which we cannot do. We are working on breaking the deadlock, Sarma said.
The chief minister said he is looking to 2022 as a year of hope. “There will be some positive moments regarding Armed Forces (Special Power) Act. How and when we don’t know. But I am optimistic,” he added.