People's Consultative Group
|Formation||September 8, 2005;dissolved in February 2011|
|Purpose||Initiating peace talk-process between ULFA and the Centre|
|Selected by ULFA|
|Mamoni Raisom Goswami|
The People’s Consultative Group (PCG) was a citizen’s group in Assam constituted by ULFA to initiate the talk process as mediator between the central government and the outfit itself. It was constituted on September 8, 2005 with 11 members in it.It was dissolved by ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa in the first week of February 2011. ULFA is initiating the peace talk process without it. First round of talks was held on 10 February 2011 on New Delhi.
The list of members is as follows as released by the outfit’s chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa with Mamoni Raisom Goswami being the chief interlocutor between the ULFA and the Centre. Some of its members are believed to be ULFA sympathizers or ex-ULFA cadres.
- Mamoni Raisom Goswami (Jnanpith Awardee writer)
- Reboti Phukan (Former footballer and childhood friend of Paresh Baruah)
- Arup Borborah (Lawyer)
- Lachit Bordoloi (MASS leader)
- Mukul Mahanta (Engineer)
- Ajit Bhuyan (Editor, Aji)
- Haider Hussain (Editor, Asomiya Pratidin)
- Brajen Gogoi (Doctor)
- Dilip Patgiri (Adviser to the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad)
- Diganta Konwar (Journalist)
- Hiranya Saikia (Sports organiser)
P. V. Sumant, the Director-General of Police, although welcomed the move, made it clear that operations would be continued since no ceasefire agreement was there with the outfit and the peace initiative, though a laudable step, was not enough to merit suspension of operations against it. He also expressed his concern that terror outfits are known to make such overtures to buy time. The state government also agreed to felicitate the peace-talk process but denied any unilateral ceasefire with the outfit.
On September 11, 2005, three days after its formation, PCG launched a statewide opinion-sharing campaign through letters, SMS, fax and email. It adopted two more resolutions during it first sitting. It appealed to the Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to expedite the peace process. It also expressed its concern over director-general of police P.V. Sumant’s remark that operation would be going on against ULFA. On November 5, 2005, at a rally in Nalbari, the group virtually launched a campaign seeking an immediate end to the Army operations.
The future of the talk-process became uncertain when security forces killed 12 cadres of the outfit on September 14 in upper Assam using mortars and other explosives. Paresh Baruah, the commander-in-chief of the armed wing of the outfit, reportedly said, ‘‘We will be compelled to call off the peace initiative because of the state’s attitude. While we took a major step by forming a PCG to work out the modalities of the talks with the government, what the state has done is nothing but sheer betrayal’’. The PCG held an emergency meeting in Guwahati taking note of the security forces’ operation and also threatened to call off the peace process if such operations were not stopped. On October 2005, two rounds of talks were held between the group and the government. But the third round, which was scheduled for May 2006, failed to take place as mistrust prevailed between both the groups over ULFA’s contentious demand of sovereignty for Assam. As the peace process derailed without any results, the validity of the PCG was also put under scanner.
PCG was dissolved in the first week of February 2011 by ULFA leaders led by Arabinda Rajkhowa.They declared it unconstitutional. They told that there is nothing in ULFA constitution that allows them to create PCG at the first place.
- Kumar, Anand (2005-10-14). "Assam: Preparing for the "Peace Talks"". South Asia Analysis Group (SAAG). Retrieved 2009-10-02.
- Hussain, Syed Zarir (2008-03-27). "Fresh moves to revive deadlocked ULFA peace process". Thaindian News. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
- Tribune, Assam (Feb 9, 2011). "First round of ULFA peace talks begins Thursday".
- 365, DY (Feb 9, 2011). "Arabinda Rajkhowa has insulted us, his sudden change of stance suspicious: PCG".
- "Ulfa Announces Consultative Group". Highbeam Research. 2005-09-08. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
- Kumar, Anand (2006-01-17). "Peace talks with ULFA in a limbo". South Asia Ananlysis Group (SAAG). Retrieved 2009-10-02.
- "PCG wants peace process to resume in Assam". Thaindian News. 2008-06-03. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
|last1=in Authors list (help)
- Chakrabarti, Sumon K (Feb 9, 2011). "Assam braces for peace as Centre, ULFA talk". ibnlive.in.com.