By Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Hailing the decision of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) to extend its unilateral ceasefire by three months, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday appealed to the banned insurgent group to join the mainstream.

“ULFA has today extended its ceasefire by three months. This is definitely a positive and encouraging announcement. Let this ceasefire be permanent and let the ULFA, led by its military chief Paresh Baruah, return to the nation’s mainstream respectfully,” Sarma told journalists on the sidelines of a programme.

He appreciated the extremist group also for not calling for a boycott of the Independence Day celebrations.

“They used to call for a boycott of the Independence Day celebrations in the past. They have not given any such call this time around. The steps taken by them during the Covid-19 pandemic are praiseworthy,” Sarma said.

When the unilateral truce was announced in May, the ULFA military chief had stated that the decision was made in view of the pandemic-induced situation.

In a statement on Saturday, the militant outfit said, “The ULFA has decided to extend the unilateral ceasefire by three months due to the Covid-19 situation which has not ebbed yet. During the period, the organisation will desist from all kinds of military operations.”

The insurgent group operates out of the soil of Myanmar in coordination with various rebel outfits from the Northeast.