Guwahati, March 1: Assam director-general of police J.N. Choudhury expressed hope that Ulfa leader Paresh Barua will also return to the mainstream and join the peace process initiated by his one-time comrades led by Arabinda Rajkhowa.
Speaking to reporters after inaugurating the North East Fashion Fest here today, Choudhury said he believed that Barua may be waiting and watching the outcome of the talks between the government and the faction led by Rajkhowa.
The DGP said Barua might also join the peace talks at a later stage if he founds its progress favourable.
Choudhury said the Ulfa leader might be taking time because of his pride.
“We must consider the fact that he had led an organisation for three decades and so it is not easy for him to come out of it. I believe he is looking for ways to come out and lead a normal life. I feel he will join the ongoing peace process if he is happy with its progress,” he said. According to Choudhury, not many leaders and members are with Barua after the Rajkhowa faction joined the peace process.
He said today the Barua-led faction of Ulfa was not strong as it once was but it can’t be taken lightly. “It is like cancer. One cancerous cell can be dangerous as it can multiply rapidly,” the DGP said.
The DGP’s comments came in the wake of Bijoy Das alias Bijoy Chinese — one of Barua’s trusted lieutenants —coming overground recently to join the peace process.
Chinese, who is its eastern zone commander, surfaced nearly a week ago and was currently with the security forces in Guwahati. The pro-talks group described the move by Chinese as a “big blow” to the Barua faction.
On the Maoist threat in the state, the DGP described it as a “future threat”.
“At present, we have Maoist presence in certain areas of Dhemaji, Tinsukia and Golaghat districts. But we can’t lower our guard as it may spread to other areas in future,” he said.
He held unemployment and other socio-economic problems responsible for Maoists presence in the state.