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Bodo rebels will negotiate if handled properly: Army chief

Shillong, July 19 (Calcutta Tube) Army Chief General V.K. Singh Monday said he was confident that the rebel National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) would come to the negotiating table if they are ‘handled properly’.

‘I am quite sure if handled properly, they (NDFB) would come to the negotiating table or they will surrender,’ Singh told reporters here after calling on Meghalaya Governor R.S. Mooshahary during his visit to the state.

‘What happens to a child who doesn’t get attention in the house? The child does something… and that was what happening in this case,’ he said.

Ranjan Daimary, chairman of the anti-talks faction of the NDFB, was pushed by Bangladesh security agencies to India through the India-Bangladesh border at Dawki in Meghalaya May 1 this year.

‘Ranjan Daimary has been captured and the whole organisation is in disarray. They have to now prove by some action that they are still there. That’s all I read into it,’ the army chief added.

Daimary alias D.R. Nabla, allegedly the mastermind of several bombings in Assam was wanted by the Interpol in several crimes including the serial blasts in Assam on Oct 30, 2008 which killed nearly 100 people.

Formed on Oct 3, 1986, the NDFB is fighting for ‘sovereign Bodoland’ in the western areas of Assam. The NDFB was earlier known as Bodo Security Force, till it was rechristened as NDFB on Nov 25, 1994.

In May 2005, the NDFB declared a ceasefire agreement with the central government and the Assam government.

However, in December 2008, the powerful NDFB split into two factions over the ceasefire agreement – one headed by Daimary, who stuck with the armed struggle for sovereign Bodoland, and the other led by B. Sungthagra.

The NDFB maintains closed links with the banned United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and formed a coordination committee for launching a united struggle.

The Bodo militant outfit also established a working arrangement with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM), currently on peace talks with the government, and other smaller outfits in the region.

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