When one of the most reclusive militant leaders of the Northeast, Paresh Barua, expressed his intent to join peace talks, there was excitement and cheer. But the move does not call for celebration just yet as the region has a chequered history of peace processes.
But before delving into the larger issue of how peace remained elusive in the multi-ethnic region despite numerous agreements and accords, Barua’s assertion at the outset should be taken with a generous dollop of salt.
The militant leader, who was a first-class soccer goalkeeper before taking up arms forming the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in 1979, is known for being acrobatic with his words.
Barua had used such peace overtures as a stratagem to buy time......