Saturday, March 15, 2008

Separation pill for Bodo rivals-Dispur sends NDFB cadres to camps

Guwahati/Kokrajhar/New Delhi, March 14: Disturbed by the clashes in the Bodo heartland over the past two days, Dispur today directed police to shift all members of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDBF) to three designated camps.
Officials said the “proximity” of NDFB activists to members of the disbanded Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT), was causing law and order problems and the rival groups needed to be distanced.
Dispur also asked the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), an ally of the ruling Congress in the government, to rein in its activists.
The BPF comprises mostly former members of the BLT, a militant group that was disbanded after its leaders signed a tripartite agreement with Delhi and Dispur in 2003 and formed the Bodoland Territorial Council.
Although the BLT no longer exists, its rivalry with the NDFB continues. Hagrama Mohilary, who used to lead the BLT, now leads the BPF.
Sources described the ongoing conflict between the two groups as a battle for “political supremacy”.
Tension prevailed in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts where violence, triggered by an attack on an NDFB camp on Wednesday, left four dead and several injured yesterday.
Curfew was imposed late last night in the Bengtol area of Chirang district where four persons fell to police bullets while trying to intervene in the NDFB-BPF feud. Security has been tightened in sensitive areas and the army and CRPF has been called out.
The district administration in Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri have imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC.
Making a statement on behalf of the home department, forest and tourism minister Rockybul Hussain said the situation in Chirang and Kokrajhar was tense but under control. “Peace meetings are being held. The government and the district administration are monitoring the situation.”
The All Boro Peace Forum has called a 12-hour statewide bandh tomorrow to protest against the police firing at Bengtol.
Independent MP from Assam Urkhao Gwra Brahma raised the topic of the killings during Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha today.
While he lashed out only at the BPF, he did not spare the Congress later. He accused them of engaging in “state-sponsored terrorism” and the Assam police of “indulging in terrorist activities”.
He accused the state government of supporting “a new group” to foil the two-year-old peace process between Delhi and the NDFB.
“The government does not want to continue the peace process so that it can avoid a new agreement. Therefore, it has propped up this new militant group. They want to keep us divided,” Brahma told The Telegraph.
He demanded a judicial inquiry into yesterday’s incident and action against the guilty police officers. He also met Union home minister Shivraj Patil to demand central intervention.

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