Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma | File photo

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on November 18 reacted strongly to a news report on ‘sovereignty’ and talks with ULFA (I) that appeared in The Times of India.

The CM said that he was aghast to see the ‘false’ news in the newspaper.

“No chief minister can discuss sovereignty of India with anyone. This is non-negotiable. We all Indians, irrespective of our positions, are here to protect the sovereignty of India. I strongly refute the news report. This is FALSE,” the CM tweeted on November 18 morning.

The TOI report claimed that the CM had said that the “core demand of sovereignty” would have to be addressed along the way with ULFA.

“In a first for any Assam chief minister making a peace overture to a militant outfit, Himanta Biswa Sarma declared on Wednesday that the elephant in the room – ULFA(I)’s core demand of sovereignty – would have to be addressed along the way,” the report said.

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ULFA (I) has extended the unilateral ceasefire by another three months. Assam CM termed it a positive gesture.

This is for the second time that the outfit has extended the ceasefire. It had announced a unilateral ceasefire for three months on May 15 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and later it was extended by another three months on August 14.

Soon after assuming charge in May, chief minister Sarma had appealed to ULFA-I to shun violence and come forward for peace talks. He said his government is willing to discuss the issues in order to establish permanent peace in the state.

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