Guwahati: In a first since 1996, the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I), has decided not to call a bandh during Republic Day celebrations this year. The announcement by the last remaining militant outfit came amid Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s ongoing efforts to bring them to the discussion table and sign the elusive peace agreement. Soon after the announcement by the outfit, CM Himanta Biswa Sarma welcomed the decision and invited the separatist organization for meaningful discussion with the Government of India (GoI).Also Read - Assam: Man Chops Off Own Penis for 'Greater Good' Under The Influence Of Marijuana

Taking to Twitter, CM Himanta wrote, “I welcome ULFA’s decision not to call a bandh and desist from any resistance during Republic Day. I take this opportunity to once again appeal to Paresh Baruah to come forward for a meaningful discussion with Government of India.” Also Read - Assam Floods: Situation Worsens As 14 Dead, Over 8 Lakh Affected In 29 Of State's 34 Districts

Earlier last year, the ULFA-I on the occasion of Independence Day on August 15 too had not called any bandh. The outfit has declared a ceasefire from May 15, 2021, which is being renewed at regular intervals. United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), which is an armed separatist organization has decided to desist from any resistance during Republic Day. Paresh Baruah is the chief of this organization. Also Read - Assam Floods: Heavy Downpour Wreaks Havoc, Over 6 Lakh Affected Across 27 Districts | Key Points

On January 4, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said that he has requested the Central government to expedite the peace parleys with the pro-talks faction of Paresh Barua-led ULFA (Independent), and also appealed to the militant outfit to refrain from giving a boycott call on Republic Day in Assam. The Chief Minister said that the central government has been in touch with ULFA-I (United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent).

“I have informally requested the Union government to expedite the peace parleys with the ULFA-I before beginning formal dialogue with the outfit,” he told the media at the end of a two-day conference of Superintendents of Police of 34 districts in Duliajan.

Sarma’s statement came after the ULFA-I leaders claimed that the Centre was not serious in resolving their demands and issues. The outlawed outfit ULFA-I had announced a unilateral ceasefire for three months on May 15 immediately after the new BJP-led government headed by Sarma had assumed charge on May 10.