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NE Separatists call shutdown to boycott I-Day
Published on 11 Aug. 2009 12:46 AM IST
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Five separatist guerrilla groups in India’s northeast Monday called a 17-hour general strike Saturday to boycott Independence Day celebrations, even as security forces were put on maximum alert across the region. “We call upon the people of our region to boycott and prevent the celebration of India’s Independence Day as a mark of solidarity against Indian colonial occupation and military repression,” a joint rebel statement said. The militant groups that called for a boycott of the Independence Day celebrations include the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), the Kamatapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), fighting for a separate homeland comprising parts of Assam and West Bengal, the Manipur People’s Liberation Front (MPLF), an umbrella group of several Manipuri rebel groups, and the Tripura People’s Democratic Front (TPDF). These groups are active in Assam, Manipur and Tripura. As part of the boycott call Aug 15, the militant groups have called for a general strike from 1 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. Militant groups in the northeast have for years boycotted national events to protest New Delhi’s rule over the region. Meanwhile, security forces have been put on maximum alert across the region to thwart possible rebel strikes. “We have deployed security forces in strength across the state,” police officer Debojit Deuri said. Similar security arrangements were made in other states of the region.

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