No peace talks under handcuffs, says ULFA chairman Rajkhowa (Roundup)December 5th, 2009 - 8:45 pm ICT by IANS
By Syed Zarir Hussain
Guwahati, Dec 5 (IANS) Arrested United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa Saturday said his outfit would not hold peace talks with the Indian government and claimed he had not “surrendered and would never surrender”. He and his two aides were brought before a court here and remanded in 12 days police custody.
“There cannot be any peace talks with the government under handcuffs as prisoners cannot negotiate. I have not surrendered and would never surrender before the government,” Rajkhowa told reporters while being taken to the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court in Guwahati.
Rajkhowa, 53, along with ULFA’s deputy commander-in-chief Raju Baruah, and the ULFA chairman’s personal security guard Raja Bora were remanded in 12 days police custody by the court although the public prosecutor sought 14 days.
Raju Baruah also said he had not surrendered. “Let me be very clear that I have not surrendered,” Baruah said as the three were being taken to a bus under heavy security escort.
The three militants were brought to the court in handcuffs.
There were slogans of “Rajkhowa zindabad” (long live Rajkhowa) as he was being taken inside the court.
Thousands of people waited at the court premises since early Saturday with the main thoroughfare blocked for the better part of the day.
“I have seen my brother and spoke to him after nearly 30 years. It was an emotional feeling and he said he did not surrender,” Ajoy Rajkonwar, younger brother of the ULFA chairman, told IANS.
Earlier, the government claimed that Rajkhowa, his wife Kaveri and two children, Baruah, his wife and one child, Bora, and the wife of ULFA ‘foreign secretary’ Sasha Choudhury and their son, surrendered before the Border Security Force Friday at Dawki in the northeastern state of Meghalaya.
While Rajkhowa, Baruah, and Bora were later arrested on arrival in Guwahati, the family members were not charged and let off.
Rajkhowa’s statement that he had not surrendered is significant as there were reports that all the ULFA members were actually arrested by Bangladesh Police earlier this week in that country and then handed over to Indian authorities who had later shown them as surrendered.
India and Bangladesh do not have an extradition treaty and no agreement of transferring sentenced prisoners.
Sasha Choudhury and ULFA’s self-styled finance secretary Chitrabon Hazarika were last month handed over by Bangladesh Police to Indian authorities and then later shown as arrested while trying to enter the country through the border along Tripura.
Rajkhowa and four others, including the outfit’s self-styled commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah, founded the ULFA in 1979. The group over the years has led a violent campaign for a separate sovereign state for the Assamese people.
It is said the ULFA was an offshoot of the anti-foreigners movement launched in 1979 by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) - a violent agitation against illegal Bangladeshi migrants in Assam.
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- Rajkhowa, three others sent to 12 days police custody - Dec 05, 2009
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- ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, deputy sent to prison - Dec 26, 2009
- ULFA chief Rajkhowa remanded in 12 days custody (Second Lead) - Dec 05, 2009
- 19 ULFA rebels in Assam Police custody - Sep 25, 2010
- Split in ULFA ranks as 19 commanders opt for peace - Sep 25, 2010
- ULFA leader Rajkhowa, ten others may be charged under IPC, TADA - Dec 05, 2009
- Talks with ULFA without sovereignty issue: Gogoi - Dec 07, 2009
- Rajkhowa, deputy and families surrender in Meghalaya - Dec 04, 2009
- Talks collapse, Rajkhowa, other ULFA leaders arrested (Lead) - Dec 04, 2009
- Assam allows ULFA chief's bail plea, facilitates peace talks - Dec 16, 2010
- Jubilation as ULFA chairman Rajkhowa walks out of jail (Second Lead) - Jan 01, 2011
- Dramatic surrender by India's most wanted - ULFA chief Arabinda Rajkhowa (Roundup) - Dec 04, 2009
Tags: bora, border security force, court premises, deputy commander, handcuffs, heavy security, hussain, indian government, judicial magistrate, kaveri, northeastern state, peace talks, personal security, police custody, public prosecutor, raju baruah, security escort, state of meghalaya, thoroughfare, united liberation front