In a telephonic conversation, ULFA(I) CS Paresh Asom expressed his concern over the issue of missing of Rebati Phukan and three news published in Times of Assam.
Paresh Asom(Paresh Baruah) has stated that the news about the outfit’s Deputy CS Drishti Asom’s(Drishti Rajkhowa) involvement in the missing of Rebati Phukan is not done in the proper way and it is not true at all. He said that he and Drishti are maintaining a good relationship and there is no conflict between the due as the news indicated.
When asked the whereabouts of Rebati Phukan, the ULFA(I) chief said, “Some people are saying that he is in Shillong. If so, then it’s police or other Govt agency who is hiding Rebati Phukan in Shillong.”
He also stated that due to the effort of Mr Phukan, there was a drastic progress in lateral talk between the outfit and the Government of India where the status of the process surpassed the same of Thuingaleng Muivah led NSCN group.
“We are not into enmity with anyone. All we have is our struggle which represents the Indo-Assam conflict.
To resolve the conflict we have some positive development for a lateral talk with Government of India. You just be assured whatever we will have will be far higher status than Muivah.” – the ULFA(I) chief also stated the current development of lateral talk between the outfit and GoI.
“Who is against the development of lateral talk?’, citing Mr. Phukan’s missing Paresh Asom said, “those who don’t want me to come for the lateral talk are behind the kidnapping of Rebati.”
Talking from an unknown location the ULFA(I) chief also expressed his concern about the news standard of Times of Assam. “You were the most accurate in most cases, but three of your news was biased and it’s really disappointing us. We have good belief in the standard you are maintaining but the three biased reports compelled me to talk to you as you are leading it.”
“You know that Bhaskar is a new guy here and there are miles to go to become the GS(General Secretary) of ULFA. He will have to maintain long times with responsibilities for that. How you can make him the GS of ULFA?” – the ULFA(I) chief asked. When answered, he then said, “Time is changing too rapidly. Communication is also getting affected due to the change in time. The situation is also not the same as earlier.”
Citing a very old report about the outfit’s late Dy C-in-C Heerak Jyoti Mahanta – Paresh Asom told, “You skipped the real culprits behind Heerak’s killing and pulled my name! That is really biased and no truth is there.” When I reminded him that it was very old news and was done on the basis of the statement of Heerak’s father – the ULFA(I) chief said, “Heerak was the asset for me. Will anyone try to lose his asset? No. None does that. Everyone in ULFA knows everything about his killing. If someone misinformed you then I must say he has lost his dignity. His father’s anger is obvious as a father. But that anger doesn’t lead to the truth.”
Talking more than half an hour, the ULFA(I) chief also expressed his concern about other media reports – said, “Look how they have converted journalism to a business. They are always trying to show whatever can grow their business. They are giving verdicts. Where is the news?
Update on May 16, 2018: Just in another telephonic conversation today, ULFA(I) CS Paresh Asom stated that there has been another mistake in the paragraph no 3 & 4 which is about the lateral talk between the Indian Government and ULFA(I). He said that this mistake in this news is not only confusing but is beyond of media standard.
Paresh Asom said that the context of lateral talk is wrongly portrayed here and he hasn’t received any proposal from the Government of India yet. He also said, “Be it a network issue or phone-tapping issue by govt agencies, you should ask to repeat if you are hearing something as breaking voice. But you didn’t do that. I never said there is a progress of lateral talk. What you have published is not my speech. I was talking about Rebati, and you missed it and finally, it led to another controversy. I told, we have some input that Rebati told some people about the progress of talk and those people said it to some more people and it spread amongst more others. Your take on the issue of the three reports was fine but the context about lateral-talk went biased again.”
When told that it will be added as the clarification in the same news, he said, “It’s happening again and again. This is another mistake that is totally unethical. In journalism, you must have to avoid it. People will become more confused as it is wrongly portrayed. I am really disappointed seeing this kind of mistakes. It’s beyond of journalism ethics.”