Chidambaram for stepped up offensive against Bodo militants

Guwahati, Nov 12 (IANS) The central government Friday ordered stepped up security offensives against the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) while keeping the doors open for peace talks if the outfit shunned violence.

‘The perpetrators of violence would be dealt with firmly in accordance with law with security forces instructed to apprehend leaders of the anti-talk NDFB faction and bring them to justice,’ union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said in a statement.

The minister’s statement came after he chaired a meeting of the Unified Command Headquarters in Guwahati which was also attended by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

Chidambaram was in Guwahati to review the security situation in view of the NDFB’s serial attacks that have killed 24 people, most of them Hindi speakers, and injured at least 15 since Monday.

‘The leader of the NDFB anti-talk faction Ranjan Daimary who is in judicial custody is unwilling to control criminal actions of his faction,’ the statement said.

Top army and paramilitary commanders, senior police and civil officials also attended the meeting.

‘The only way forward for these groups is peace talks and the government of India and the government of Assam is ready to hold talks with any group willing to abjure violence but will not tolerate group of factions indulging in criminal acts,’ the statement said.

The rebel group Thursday issued a fresh warning to the Assam government threatening to carry out more attacks if security operations were not stopped immediately.

On Nov 1, the NDFB threatened to kill 20 or more people against one of their cadres killed by security forces in any encounters – the recent killings came hours after security forces Monday gunned down an NDFB militant in an encounter.

The home minister left for New Delhi Friday after the meeting.

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