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NDFB vows support for Maoists
GUWAHATI, NOV 16 (IANS):
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Published on 17 Nov. 2009 1:09 AM IST
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The National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), an outlawed group fighting for an independent homeland for the Bodo tribe in Assam, has announced its support to the Maoists. “I would like to greet and congratulate the Maoists who are fighting for their legitimate rights and also extend all help to them in their fight against the ruling cliques,” NDFB chairman D.R. Nabla said in a statement e-mailed to IANS. The NDFB statement assumes special significance amid intelligence reports that Maoists were desperately trying to set up bases in the northeast, especially in Assam, by forging links with local rebel groups. “It seems the NDFB is giving clear hints about supporting the Maoists and even helping them set up camps in Assam, bordering Bhutan. We have such reports and hence intensifying vigil in the border areas,” a senior Assam police official said. Reports say Maoists from eastern India may have forged links with a rag-tag Assam-based group called the All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA), whose cadres are drawn from the state’s tea workers’ community. Assam Police claim to have information about some AANLA leaders based in the state of Jharkhand, a Maoist stronghold. “Apart from AANLA, there are also reports of Maoists trying to forge links with the ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom),” the official said. The Maoists have been eyeing to create trouble in Bhutan and are hence keen to set up bases in Assam to stage hit and run guerrilla strikes in the adjoining Buddhist nation. Bhutan has witnessed a pro-democracy agitation in the 1990s with a section of Nepali-speaking residents in its southern parts rising in revolt. The crackdown that followed led thousands of Nepali-speaking people from southern Bhutan to flee to Nepal. Now an estimated 100,000 people are sheltered in relief camps. There are reports that the Maoists have been drawn from aggrieved refugees now based in Nepal. “We are not going to allow Maoists to use Assam as a launch pad for violence in Bhutan and also eventually in Assam,” the official said.

 
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