The Indian government yesterday said it had extended the ban on “insurgent outfit” United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) for five years for “continuing subversive activities, including killings, kidnapping and extortions”.
The home ministry said in a notification that the ULFA had been indulging in various illegal and violent activities intended to disrupt the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India in furtherance of its objective of liberating Assam.
“Now therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), the central government hereby declares the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) along with all its factions, wings and front organizations as an unlawful association,” it said.
A Home Ministry official said the ban had been extended for five years.
ULFA was set up in April 1979 and the group was first banned in 1990. Since then, the Indian government has been extending the ban imposed on it from time to time.
A faction of the ULFA is currently involved in peace talks with an interlocutor of the central government, while another faction, led by its military chief Paresh Baruah, has been engaged in subversive activities.
After ULFA Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa expressed willingness to begin peace talks with the Indian government in November, 2004, the dialogue began in October 2005.
On November 6, 2009, ULFA’s “foreign secretary” Sashadhar Choudhury and “finance secretary” Chitraban Hazarika surrendered before the BSF near Agartala and on December 4, 2009, Rajkhowa and “Deputy commander-in-chief” Raju Baruah, along with family members, surrendered to Indian authorities along India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya.