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Fugitive catch buzz in Bangla

Oct. 25: Bangladesh has captured a suspected leader of the banned National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB), an intriguing move that coincided with a peace initiative in Assam where the outfit operates.

Police sources in Dhaka said Sushil Drong, said to be a commander of the NDFB, was arrested with arms and ammunition in northern Bangladesh on Saturday.

Sushil, who also identified himself as Sushil Barua, was caught by Bangladesh border guards in a frontier village in Mymensingh district. He has been remanded in police custody for questioning.

Sources in the external affairs ministry said if true, this is the first time that Dhaka, which has been under pressure from Delhi to crack down on Indian fugitives, has moved against the NDFB. Bangladesh foreign minister Morshed Khan is scheduled to reach India on October 31.

But sources in Assam said the timing of the arrest puzzles them. The arrest comes when both the Assam government and the Centre are finalising measures to reciprocate the NDFB's offer of a unilateral ceasefire.

'Maybe, someone somewhere is not happy that the NDFB has come forward for a negotiated settlement and agreed to stop hostilities against the security forces,' an Assam home department official said in Guwahati.

Assam police sources said an NDFB 'top man' named Sushil is known to be holed up in Bangladesh but they could not confirm whether his surname was Drong.

'They keep changing their names to cover up their real identity,' a source said. Some Bodo elders in Guwahati said Drong is not a surname of the community.

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