Banned NDFB gives up arms, signs agreement with govt

New Delhi, Jan 17 (PTI) Banned NDFB, an insurgent group active in Assam, has signed an agreement with the government for suspension of operations, officials said on Friday.
According to the pact, the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) under the leadership of its ‘president’ B Saoraigwra will abjure violence and join in peace talks with the government.
The tripartite agreement was signed by representatives of the NDFB and the central and Assam governments, the officials said.
Active members of the NDFB including Saoraigwra were brought back from Myanmar on January 11.
Top leaders including Saoraigwra, its ‘general secretary’, ‘commander-in-chief’ and ‘finance secretary’ were part of the group, an official said.
The group carried 25 weapons, more than 50 magazines, more than 900 assorted ammunition and communication equipment with them.
Four family members also accompanied the group.
Saoraigwra’s group was active in Myanmar along with other Northeast insurgent groups.
They had formed a joint platform namely United National Liberation Front of Western South East Asia along with NSCN-K and ULFA faction headed by Paresh Baruah.
This was the only active Bodo insurgent group operating in Assam with the demand for a separate Bodo state.
The demand for a separate state for the Bodos has been in going on in Assam for about about five decades with several Bodo overground and militant groups raising it, leading agitations, protests and violence that resulted in many deaths.
Agreements were signed in 1993 and 2003 to resolve the vexed issue. A Bodo Territorial Council under Sixth Schedule of the Constitution was created in 2003 to meet political, developmental and identity-related aspirations of the Bodos.
However, the demand for Bodoland state continued despite opposition by non-Bodo groups in the state.
Another official said if a final settlement to the Bodo issue is found while keeping intact the territorial integrity of Assam, it will go a long way in improving the law-and- order situation and bring prosperity and progress to the state.