New Delhi, Oct. 18: The Centre will sign a suspension of operations agreement with the Ranjan Daimary-led National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) next week, in the backdrop of a dormant agitation for Bodoland.
A team of Union home ministry officials, along with interlocutor P.C Haldar, will fly to Guwahati to sign the pact on October 23.
Home secretary G.D. Tripathi and additional director-general of police P. Bhattacharya will represent the Assam government and attend the meeting with Daimary.
The NDFB (Progressive) led by Govind Basumatary has been in a truce with the government for seven years and holding talks regularly.
Already peeved with the Centre for not granting statehood to the Bodo belt, signing the agreement with Daimary may make NDFB (P) “anxious”, concede officials.
While NDFB (P) is a major stakeholder, the All Bodo Students’ Union, Bodoland People’s Front and several other groups have also been demanding a separate state.
“But their fallbacks are nuanced,” observed a senior official, alluding to the differences in their acceptance of a second-best alternative to full statehood.
The pact with Daimary is a result of a series of meetings with Haldar, held for almost a year before and after Daimary was released on bail in June.
Haldar is known to have held at least eight meetings in jail and frequent meetings with Daimary after his release from judicial custody.
Officials said Daimary came around to his present view on talks after a lot of convincing.
When released from jail this year, Daimary had said he wanted to help the peace process and be part of the solution to the conflict.
Like several other outfit leaders, Daimary, too, was told that when the government talks to a group it also is talking to other outfits in the same political space.