Pro-talk United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) general secretary Anup Chetia on Monday held both the Central and Assam Government responsible for a “renewed spurt” in youths of the State joining the ranks of ULFA. Chetia stated that New Delhi and Dispur “working overtime” to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has “put into the youths a sense of nationalism that they will have to protect the interests of the indigenous people of the State and the greater Assamese community at any cost and this is driving them towards the gun”.
Chetia warned that if the Government did not withdraw the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, “more Assamese youths will join the ULFA ranks and the situation will go out of control. The whole issue has created a new sense of nationalism among the youth and the people of the State.”
Chetia asked the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) not to create “communal clash by playing divisive politics among the various communities of Assam”. He further stated, “If the Government goes against the interests of the indigenous people of Assam, the situation would go out of hand and the Government will solely be held responsible as the Government has been given a lot of forewarning.”
Lashing out at Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for “betraying” the greater Assamese community, Chetia urged Sonowal to act like a “jatiya nayak” in the real sense of the term and to take steps to protect the interests of the indigenous people of the State when there was “still time”.
He also said that the Central and Assam Government should not be under the impression that the ULFA is a “spent force” – “We may be sitting for peace talks with the Government but that does not mean that we will not raise our voice to protect the interests of the indigenous people of Assam. If we want to, we can still create a lot of unrest. But, we will not. Since, we (read the pro-talk ULFA leaders) are here to spread the message of brotherhood, peace and harmony among the people,” Chetia remarked.
Talking about the Dhola carnage, the pro-talk ULFA leader said that a “third party was involved in the heinous crime and the killings were an outcome of the Government’s stance on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.”