New Delhi: The government and United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) are reportedly inching closer to a political solution to the decades-old insurgency problem in Assam, as the banned group abandoned its key demand of 'sovereignty'.
"We have reached a point almost close to finalizing a working draft. There are certain things which are still under discussions. But we hope the working draft to be ready very soon," Joint Secretary (Northeast) in the Home Ministry
Shambhu Singh told reporters in New Delhi.
After an hour-long meeting with a 26-member delegation of ULFA, headed by its 'chairman' Arabinda Rajkhowa, Singh said the government has understood the concerns and demands of ULFA and trying to find out a solution to the three issues on which there were no agreements yet.
The three issues are protection of political and cultural identity of the indigenous people of Assam, land rights and illegal immigration.
"From the three issues, the Union Home Secretary will start the process of consultation with all stake holders," Singh said without elaborating.
Both sides discussed various aspects of the group's 'charter of demands' which seek amendment in the Constitution for finding "meaningful" ways to protect the rights and identity of the indigenous people of Assam.

The issue of ULFA demand for 'sovereignty' did not figure in the discussion.
Home Secretary RK Singh, who chaired the meeting, termed the talks as ‘successful’ and also hoped that ULFA 'general secretary' Anup Chetia would be repatriated from Bangladesh soon.


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