Nagaon, Dec. 19: The Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF) has called for immediate resumption of talks on the separate state issue.
A three-member team of the Karbi militant outfit met Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in New Delhi yesterday and asked him to pay special attention to the outfit’s issue as the talks process has been stalled since July 8 this year.
The team, comprising KLNLF general secretary Thong Teron, publicity secretary Rajek Dera and home secretary Thulok Teron, submitted a memorandum in support of their demand.
“We have made it clear to the home minister that last year’s experience proves that the proposed territorial council could hardly fulfil dreams and aspirations of the people of the two hill districts of Assam and the talks process must take up the separate state issue as the subject. Our two-point memorandum includes the consideration of separate state and immediate resumption of talks,” Dera told The Telegraph today.
“The process remained stalled as the government, in a meeting held on July 8, clearly said the territorial council is the only option left before us and we should sign a memorandum of settlement. We rejected the offer that time and so the talks remained stalled.”
Dera said the home minister has assured the outfit that he would consider the matter seriously and promised tripartite talks on the issue at the earliest. The Karbi militant outfit laid down arms on February 11, 2010. Altogether 333 cadres of the outfit were kept in four designated camps in different parts of the district. A separate state comprising the two hill districts of Assam — Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao — is the main point in the demand charter submitted to the government at the arms lay-down ceremony.
“Hopefully, we will soon sit with the representatives from New Delhi in Dispur, where these issues would be discussed. In the next discussion, we will ask the government to increase the stipend of the cadres from Rs 3,000. When each of the government officers get Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 as monthly salary, our cadres, even the officers, is paid only Rs 3,000 per month. This is a big injustice to us and government must increase that stipend at any cost,” Dera said.