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SOURCE: PTI

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, United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) shall abjure the path of violence, give up all arms and ammunition and disband the organisation within one month.

The tripartite agreement was signed by the central and state governments and the ULFA. The decision to disband the organisation was taken at a meeting of the organisation held in Assam’s Darrang district on Tuesday, the outfit’s General Secretary Anup Chetia told PTI.

It was also decided at the meeting to form a seven-member monitoring committee to ensure the implementation of the various clauses of the tripartite agreement, he said.

Chetia will be the convener of the committee.

A socio-cultural organisation named ‘Asom Jatiya Bikash Mancha’ will be formed, which will work towards protecting the cultural and linguistic identity of the society, he said.

The members will also soon meet Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to inform him about the outfit being disbanded and also to take forward the implementation of the agreement, Chetia added.

A possible organisational set-up for the rehabilitation of the cadres and to involve them in productive economic activity was also discussed at the meeting, another senior leader Mrinal Hazarika said.

The outfit will also have to vacate all the nine designated camps where ULFA cadres and their families were staying after coming for talks in 2011.

The arms/ammunition will be handed over to the state government at a formal ceremony later this month.

The agreement, signed in New Delhi in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, also included an ex-gratia payment to the cadres, funding of their economic, vocational training and government jobs depending on eligibility along with withdrawal of criminal cases registered against the cadres for non-heinous crimes.

The ULFA was formed on April 7, 1979, in Sivasagar by a group of 20 youths from Upper Assam districts to establish a sovereign Assam through an armed struggle.

The outfit had split in 2011 with the top leadership, including Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, returning to Assam from a neighbouring country and agreed to talk without the sovereignty clause and submitted a 12-point charter of demands to the central government.

Another faction ULFA (Independent), led by Paresh Barua, remained firm on the demand for sovereignty and is yet to come for talks.