Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday appealed to the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) and other militant outfits to initiate talks with the government, to come to the mainstream and contribute to further develop the state.

After hoisting the National flag at the Independence Day’s main function at Khanapara Veterinary Playground, the Chief Minister while addressing the gathering said: “I appeal to ULFA-I’s Paresh Baruah and other militant groups of Assam to come to the mainstream, join our dialogue process, and contribute constructively for the welfare of Assam’s 3.30 crore people.”

The Chief Minister said that Assam is celebrating the 75th Independence Day without any bandh and protests called by militant groups, including ULFA-I, for the first time in many decades. Various extremist groups including the ULFA-I of the northeastern states had been calling for shutdown and Independence Day and Republic Day boycotts in Assam and other northeastern states for several decades, abstaining from the protests against the national day for the first time this year.

The ULFA-I has also declared a unilateral ceasefire since May this year in view of the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

Referring to the recent Assam-Mizoram July 26 fierce broder clash and firing, Sarma said: “My reverence to the six Assam police personnel who laid down their lives while protecting the inter-state boundary. While duty bound to protect our boundaries, Assam is committed to maintain friendly relations with all neighbouring states.”

The Chief Minister said that besides the population control, his government has already announced to provide government jobs to one lakh unemployed youths and to waive loans of those people, mostly women, who have taken loan under the micro finance schemes. “Our government would provide income generation scope to all the 3.30 crore people in Assam. We will make Assam an “Atmanirbhar” state, will make Assam as one of the five best states, will eradicate crime against women and girls, curb the drug menace. During the past three months, the security forces have seized drugs worth Rs 200 crore. Now you can think every year how much the economy is destroyed by this menace.”

He said the government is committed to curb human trafficking and other social menaces and call centers would be set up 24-hours to deal with these evil activities.

Sarma expressed his appreciation to Covid warriors for their unrelenting war against dreaded disease.

Expressing his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister announced that Covid vaccination would be done to all eligible people and 1.5 crore doses would be administered in the next one week.

Congratulating Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist boxer Lovlina Borgohain, he said that her success is an inspiration for all Assamese specially the youths and budding sportspersons.

Referring to the recent approval to the Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021 by the state assembly, he said that this shows the state government’s resolve to protect the cultural ethos of Assam.

The Chief Minister announced that freedom fighters’ pension provided by the state government would be increased from Rs 23,000 to Rs 36,000 at par with the central pension and state would accord highest honour to all these former revolutionaries during their last rites.

Appealing to people to do at least ten good works on the occasion of the 75th Independence Day celebrations, the Chief Minister said: “For each one of us, Independence would become more meaningful if we resolved to plant 75 saplings by every one in all the offices, schools, colleges and other premises around us. Let’s nurture and do our bit to enrich mother nature.”

–IANS

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