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regular-article-logo Sunday, 14 July 2024

KLO welcomes peace talks move by Centre, Assam government

The separate state that the Kamtapur and Rajbanshi organisations have been demanding includes six north Bengal districts

Avijit Sinha Siliguri Published 24.12.21, 02:22 AM
Representational image.

Representational image.

Proscribed terrorist outfit Kamtapur Liberation Organisation has released a video welcoming the initiative by the central and Assam governments to hold peace talks with it so that KLO members shun the armed struggle and return to the mainstream.

“The KLO appreciates and supports the proposal of the government of India to hold peace talks with us. We thank the Prime Minister, the Union home minister and the chief minister of Assam and want a permanent solution to the political problem through the talks,” Koch Pavel, the self-styled foreign secretary of the outfit, was seen saying in the video.

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This is the first time that the KLO has come up with a formal response after Assam’s BJP chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said around 20 days ago that the KLO wanted to hold peace talks and his government would reciprocate.

Trinamul leaders and a number of Rajbanshi organisations had then demanded that the Bengal government be involved in the talks. The separate state that the KLO and those Rajbanshi organisations have been demanding includes six north Bengal districts.

In the video, Pavel referred to the merger agreement signed between the India government and the then princely state of Cooch Behar in 1949.

“It was supposed to be a full-fledged state but eventually, the entire area was included in the states of Bengal, Bihar and Assam. That is why our organisation was formed,” he said.

The outfit’s representative also made it clear the KLO would closely monitor the entire process of peace talks and its terms. “We would also ask the Kamtapuri (Rajbanshi) population and mass-based over-ground organisations like GCPA, KPP and AKRASU to monitor each and every step of the dialogue process initiated by the government of India,” the KLO representative said.

Pavel didn’t utter a single word on the Bengal government in his statement.

“A number of cases, including charges under the UAPA, are pending against KLO members, including their self-styled chief Jeevan Singha. Unlike Assam, no official statement has been issued by the Bengal government. Maybe because of that, Pavel didn’t refer to the Bengal government. But no decision can be reached unless the Bengal government is included in the parleys,” said an observer.

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