Kokrajhar, Nov. 26: The Bodoland Peoples Progressive Front (BPPF) asked the government to maintain maximum restraint while conducting searches for illegal arms, saying it should not mix up common people with those in possession of weapons or militant groups.
A similar concern was voiced when the new faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB), led by I.K. Songbijit, accused the security forces of violating human rights of families of its members and the people.
Talking to reporters at the party office in Kokrajhar today, BPPF president Rabiram Narzary said, “The government should not mix up the common people with those in possession of illegal arms or rebel groups. The governor’s instruction to carry out house-to-house search has already evoked fear of harassment among the public. Every Bodo individual or family are not militants or involved with militant groups or work for them. The common man does not possess illegal arms,” Narzary said.
“There are definitely certain groups which have taken up arms and government agencies are aware of these groups and elements.”
Assam governor J.B. Patnaik on Thursday had ordered house-to-house searches for illegal arms in the BTAD. Patnaik had expressed deep concern at the fresh surge of violence in the area and instructed director-general of police Jayanta Narayan Choudhury to conduct the searches.
He had also called for strict action under provisions of the IPC and the Arms Act against the offenders.
The BPPF leader said if the government went ahead with door-to-door search operation, it will create chaos and may aggravate the situation.
“The government needs to have confidence in the common people of the region if it is really serious about eliminating illegal arms. Nobody wants the presence of illegal arms, in the same manner that no one wants the presence of illegal migrants,” he said.
Narzary said the operation against illegal arms should be carried out in the entire state.
Narzary, who is also a BTC member, demanded early election to the Village Council Development Committee in the BTAD along with with the panchayat election in the state, to ensure grassroots-level participation in development activities.
Reacting to the possible search operation, the NDFB press statement stated: “In the name of military operation against the NDFB and searching for illegal arms in Boroland, Indian security forces are committing acts of human rights violations like harassing, arresting and torturing NDFB family members and innocent Boro civilians.”
The statement said these blatant human rights violations would not be tolerated.
The statement came in the wake of the arrest of Naina Gopyary, 25, wife of Bishnu Gopyary alias G. Bidai, the deputy chief of Boroland Army of NDFB (Songbijit), from Maina-pwthar in Baksa district on Friday.
Police sources said based on specific information, a joint team of security forces carried out a search operation and recovered two hand grenades with detonators and 10 live rounds of AK-47 rifles.