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Ulfa seeks China help for ‘sovereign’ Assam

GUWAHATI: Years after reports of anti-talks United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) leader Paresh Baruah’s close proximity to China surfaced, the outfit on Saturday sought China’s ‘friendship’ to help attain ‘sovereignty’ in Assam for the first time.

The outfit’s chairman, Abhizeet Asom, who the National Investigation Agency (NIA) believes to be a London-based general practitioner named Mukul Hazarika, told TOI in a statement on Saturday, “China is our next-door neighbour. Despite Indian occupation of Nan Zang (south Tibet), China is trying to maintain status quo for the sake of peaceful coexistence. At the same time, it remains ambivalent on the plight of indigenous Assam, except occasional voicing by Chinese citizen in support of Assam’s legitimate claim in print,” the militant leader said.

Referring to the 1962 India-China war, the militant leader said the People’s Liberation Army had not set foot on Assam soil and he is amazed at China’s respect for Assam. “Since then, I have been observing China closely and, in my best judgment, I have not seen any enmity towards Assam yet. In absence of enmity, building friendship should be easy. 

But, without taking a first step, there won’t be any progress. The watershed moment has arrived for indigenous Assam to prompt us to build that friendship with China with confidence. We sincerely hope that China will put forward the hand of friendship towards Assam without hesitation.”

The militant leader said his outfit had taken note of the fifth All India Tibet Support Group meeting in the state on November 2 and 3.

“In the past, we had issued statements against any activity for Tibetan independence in Assam as the Dalai Lama had not spoken out against the gross human rights violations by the Indian state in Assam over the past 25 years, let alone supporting the inherent sovereignty that Assam possesses. We are intrigued by Indian nationals supporting an independent Tibet, as it is on record that on June 24, 2003, the then Indian Prime Minister AB Vajpayee formally accepted Tibet as an integral part of China. If this is not sufficient, we can refer readers to the 17 Point Agreement of May 23, 1951, Jawaharlal Nehru’s statement on October 25, 1953, and the Panchseel of 1954 that the Republic of India has been accepting Tibet as part of China all along,” the militant leader said.

He added, “Despite India’s position on Tibet being unambiguous, why is India is interfering with the internal affairs of China? Is it in the name of free speech that Tibetan dissent has been not only been tolerated but encouraged?”

The NIA has summoned the Ulfa (I) chairman in September and will soon approach the British government for information on Hazarika.

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