The outlawed militant outfit United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I), on Thursday stated that it would never compromise its "core demand" for the sovereignty of Assam, for which it has been fighting for the past 42-years.
The statement comes a day after Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma addressed the media and said that Ulfa-I's core demand would have to be discussed somewhere along with the peace process talks.
"Historically Assam was never part of India. Assam was a nation beaming with pride and sovereignty, which was later colonised by foreign invaders. This is legitimate and a historically correct fact, which needs to be brought into the limelight. The 42-years old struggle for Independence is still continuing to restore Asom to its former glory. In addition, the sovereignty of Asom will never be compromised in the year to come," ULFA-I Chief, Paresh Baruah said in a statement on Thursday evening.
Although, earlier today, Dr. Sarma clarified in a tweet (now deleted) by refuting a news report, that, "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".
However, the statement issued by ULFA-I mentioned that it is addressing the Indian people regarding the Asom CM issue on a national news channel and stated that the Chief Minister of Assam has the "right to make public statements about issues such as the sovereignty of Asom. As the CM of Asom, he holds the responsibility and platform to speak the truth and oversee the well-being of the people of Asom. He has not made bold statements about other states; rather he is making statements about the state which is engraved in his title".
Meanwhile, the banned outfit announced a three-month extension to the unilateral ceasefire on Sunday.