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Revive peace talks with ULFA, Assam delegation urges Manmohan Singh

The six-member delegation, who had a 45-minute meeting with Singh at his 7, Race Course Road residence, discussed the possible release of jailed leaders of United Liberation Front of Asom.

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A delegation from Assam today met prime minister Manmohan Singh and asked him to revive peace talks with the banned ULFA leaders to bring normalcy in the state.
    
The six-member delegation, who had a 45-minute meeting with Singh at his 7, Race Course Road residence, discussed the possible release of jailed leaders of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to boost the peace talks.
    
"We had a meeting with the prime minister. We discussed issues related to revival of peace talk between ULFA and the government of India and other developmental issues. He expressed positive attitude towards it," Dr Hiren Gohain, author and former dean, arts faculty, Gauhati University told PTI after the meeting.
    
"The prime minister said he would be happy to resume the talks and would soon have a word with Union home minister P Chidambaram in this regard," he claimed.
    
The delegation stressed for the creation of a "structural mechanism" for overall development of the state.
    
"We asked the prime minister to release leaders of the insurgent group from different jails to facilitate the talks and to build a structural mechanism to make better use of funds received from the Centre for development of the state," said Gohain adding that "socio-economic status of the people of Assam also needs to be improved."
    
"We have been asked to meet the home minister by the prime minister. We will meet other party leaders also to take their support in our initiative. Tomorrow we are meeting CPI leader AB Bardhan. We shall also be meeting leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj," he added.
    
Union home secretary GK Pillai had on June 4 said the Centre was awaiting a response from ULFA on the peace talks.
    
The delegation is part of a newly-created forum – All Assam Convention -- comprising academicians, writers, retired police and army officers, rights leaders and intellectuals and was formed in April this year and have the support of a majority of civil society groups.
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