Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday appealed ULFA (I) chief Paresh Barua for dialogue to end bloodshed in the state.
"On behalf of the people of Assam, I appeal to Paresh Barua to come forward for dialogue. Let no youth of our state be killed anymore," Sarma said while speaking at the state function to mark the 75th Independence Day.
Assam chief minister said the state is celebrating the occasion, without any bandh called by militant groups, including ULFA, for the first time in decades.
The ULFA (I), which had been calling for Assam Bandh on Independence Day and Republic Day for several decades, refrained from the practice for the first time this year.
The outfit has also declared a unilateral ceasefire since May this year in view of the pandemic situation. The chief minister had earlier urged Barua to come for peace talks after assuming power in May this year.
He also expressed his gratitude to COVID warriors for their unrelenting war on the pandemic.
Sarma also expressed gratitude to all COVID warriors, including doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians and ambulance drivers, for working tirelessly in the pandemic.
Noting that COVID vaccination for all eligible people was progressing well, he said that 1.5 crore doses will be administered in the next one week.
He congratulated boxer Lovlina Borgohain for her Olympic bronze medal and said that her success is an inspiration for all.
The chief minister paid tributes to the six Assam Police personnel killed in violence along the inter-state border with Mizoram on July 26. He said that the Assam government is committed to resolving the border disputes without compromising with the state's constitutional boundary.
Sarma said that the Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021, which was passed by the assembly on Friday, shows the state government's resolve to protect the cultural ethos of the state.
He said the government is committed to eradicating poverty through population control and will carry on its war against drugs, human trafficking and other social menaces.
The chief minister announced that freedom fighters' pension issued by the state government will be increased to Rs 36,000 at par with the central remuneration and state honours will be accorded to all these former revolutionaries during their last rites. (With PTI inputs)