Militant outfit Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), once active in Assam and West Bengal, has made peace overtures to the government, an official said on December 3.
A senior Assam government official, refusing to disclose the details of the KLO’s proposal, has indicated that the outfit, which operates from Myanmar, has recently sent feelers to the government willing to start peace talks.
“The matter is now at the initial stage. The Assam government is in touch with the Centre about the KLO’s peace proposals,” said the official, refusing to be identified.
He said that after the Bangladesh security forces had started counter-insurgency operations against the militant outfits of Northeast India including United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I), the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and the KLO, most cadres of these outfits took shelter in neighbouring Myanmar.
“After the ULFA-I last month extended their unilateral ceasefire for another three months, the KLO‘s peace proposal is a very positive development,” the official said.
About the KLO’s proposal, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had tweeted: “In continuation with Govt of India’s efforts to bring lasting peace in the region, I welcome the desire of KLO leadership to join mainstream at an early date to resolve all issues through political dialogues. Govt of Assam would fully reciprocate this goodwill measure.”
Besides the ULFA-I and the KLO, several other extremist outfits in Nagaland, Manipur, and Meghalaya are in a peace mode.
The KLO, which came into existence in 1995, has been demanding to carve out a separate Kamtapur state comprising six districts – Cooch Behar, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, North and South Dinajpur, and Malda of West Bengal and four adjoining districts of western Assam – Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Dhubri, and Goalpara.