NDFB(S) to hold talks with centre

GUWAHATI, JAN 11 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 1/11/2020 10:41:08 AM IST

Amid relentless protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) across the northeast, leaders and cadres of the banned insurgent group National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Saoraigwra (NDFB-S) came back to India from Myanmar as part of the ongoing talks with the Government of India.

A top leader of the rebel outfit told News18, “All the 50 members of the NDFB-S left Myanmar early on Saturday. The Indian Army escorted the leaders and cadres from the International border to an undisclosed Army base.”

“The outfit’s chief, B Saoraigwra, and his family members along with his security personnel crossed the international border at Tamu (in Manipur), while NDFB-S’ (self-styled) general secretary B Ferrenga, council members and other cadres entered India through the Longwa international border (in Nagaland),” he added.

Though the Director General of Assam Police, Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta, refused to comment on the development, a senior intelligence officer said, “All this is being directly monitored by Ministry of Home Affairs. We have not been informed officially yet. The top leadership of the group will be taken to Delhi as part of peace talks.”

Former DG of the Assam Police (Special Branch) Pallab Kumar Bhattacharyya told News18, “This is big achievement for the government and a big move towards permanent peace in the BTAD (Bodoland Territorial Area Districts) areas of Assam. During my service period, we were trying to bring them (NDFB-S) to the mainstream. Now, the process has been completed.”

“People of BTAD areas are now avoiding insurgent elements and want permanent peace and development in the region,” Bhattacharyya added.

The Myanmar army (Tatmadaw) has been carrying out operations against insurgent outfits like the ULFA (I), NSCN (K), NDFB-S and Kamtapur Liberation Organisation since January 29. It has also taken control of the NSCN-K’s headquarters at Ta Ga village in the Sagaing region of Myanmar.

The Tatmadaw has accused the Naga separatist outfit of supporting Indian insurgent groups, including ULFA-I and NDFB-S, in Myanmar. Though the NSCN-K has denied the allegation, the Tatmadaw said it took control of the group’s training schools and arrested 36 members from “Naga self-administrative areas” between January and March.

In the last week of March, 2019, Ne Esera Evangel, the self-styled foreign secretary of NDFB-S and his bodyguard had surrendered before the security forces.

In February, ULFA-I chief Paresh Baruah had said the Indian government had put pressure on Myanmar to carry out the operation. From an undisclosed location, he had told News18 over the phone, “It’s quite impossible to control insurgency in northeast India and Myanmar at the same time.”

“The Indian government has invested billions of dollars in Myanmar for various developmental projects. Therefore, under Indian pressure, the Myanmar army began the operation to eliminate ULFA-I, NDFB-S, NSCN-K, KLO and other Manipuri outfits,” he had said.

He, however, added that fighting against the Myanmar army was against his outfit’s rules. “The Myanmar army is not our enemy. We understand their conditions,” he had said.



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