NDFB anti-talk faction returns to Assam from camps after signing peace agreement

Guwahati, Jan 17 (PTI) The anti-talk faction of the banned NDFB, an insurgent outfit in Assam, led by B Saoraigwra has returned to the state from its camps in a neighbouring country and has signed an agreement to abjure violence and join peace talks with the government, DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said on Friday.
The government has suspended operations against the outfit and an agreement is likely to be signed with the Government of India soon, Mahanta said.
The National Democratic Front of Bodoland(NDFB) faction which returned has 27 cadres, besides Saoraigwra and have been kept at a location which cannot be disclosed, Mahanta told newsmen here.
Among those who returned are NDFB general secretary B R Feranga and its “finance secretary” B Dwmwilu.
Two prominent members of the outfit B Bidai, the NDFB “c-in-c” and B Batha have not returned with this group of NDFB cadres, the director general of police said.
“We appeal to them to also return to the mainstream and participate in the peace process,” Mahanta added.
He, however, did not disclose the name of the country where the cadres had their camps.
“The cadres are currently being debriefed and anybody expressing the intent to return to the mainstream are also welcome to join the peace process,” Mahanta added.
Officials said in Delhi that the NDFB faction has signed an agreement with the government for suspension of operations and according to the pact it 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.
The DGP said the Centre is negotiating with all factions of the NDFB who have entered into peace talks with the government and a comprehensive agreement is likely to be signed soon.
The suspension of operations and the likely early agreement assume significance against the backdrop of the elections to the Bodoland Territorial Council, which will probably be held in April this year.
NDFB traces its origin to the Bodo Security Force (BSF), an outfit formed in October 3, 1986 and the current name was adopted in 1994 after its members rejected the Bodo Accord signed between the Government of India and All Bodo Students Union and Bodo Peoples Action Committee (ABSU-BPAC).
After the serial blasts by NDFB in Assam on October 30, 2008, the outfit had split into two one headed by Ranjan Daimary (also known as Nabla) called NDFB-R and the other by Gobinda Basumatary, which is known as NDFB-P.
The NDFB(S) led by a non-Bodo, I K Sangbijit came into being when the group split further in 2012.
NDFB-P or the progressive faction supported peace talks with the government, while the faction led by Daimary was opposed to it. However, in 2013 the NDFB(R) too agreed to the talks after Daimary was released from jail.
Daimary was, however, sentenced to life imprisonment by a special court in 2019 for his involvement in the serial blast which claimed the lives of 88 people and left more than 500 injured.
According to Intelligence sources, a new council of the NDFB led by Saoraigwra came into being and the faction led by Songbijit was dissolved during a general assembly of the NDFB-R in 2015.
NDFB was in conflict with the Bodo Liberation Tiger (BLT) which had entered into an agreement with the government in 2003 leading to the creation of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).
The BLT members went on to form a political party – Bodo Peoples’ Front which is now an ally of the ruling BJP in the state.
The NDFB after its creation had initally targetted adivasis but since 2000 it has increasingly attacked Bangladeshi migrants in areas it claims to be Bodo territory.