|The headquarters of the special branch of Assam
police in Guwahati where the pact was signed
on Friday. Picture by UB Photos
Guwahati, Nov. 29: The Centre and the Assam government signed an agreement for suspension of operations (SoO) with the Ranjan Daimary faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) here today.
The agreement was signed at the headquarters of the special branch of Assam police at Kahilipara in the presence of Sambhu Singh, the joint secretary (Northeast) in the Union home ministry.
Assam home secretary G.D. Tripathi, additional director-general of police (special branch) Pallab Bhattacharyya, additional director-general of police (law and order) A.P. Raut and a six-member delegation of NDFB leaders, led by Daimary, were also present.
The pact will remain in effect for six months, after which it will be reviewed and a decision on its extension will be taken.
The NDFB (R) had declared a unilateral ceasefire on August 1, 2011. From today, the security forces will also suspend operations against the cadres of the outfit.
“Security forces will not take any action against the outfit’s cadres unless there is a violation of the ceasefire ground rules,” an official source said.
According to the agreement, two designated camps will be set up in Udalguri district and at Panbari in Dhubri district for the outfit’s cadres.
The source said the NDFB leaders have been told in clear terms that all their 541 cadres will have to stay at the designated camps and they will not leave the camp without obtaining prior permission from the superintendents of police of the respective districts. The designated camps will be guarded by police personnel, and CCTV cameras will also be installed.
The NDFB (R) had submitted a list of 541 cadres to the government, but the number is likely to increase as some NDFB cadres, who are now with the Songbijit faction, are likely to join the Daimary faction, he added.
The outfit will immediately deposit 40 weapons, including some AK-series rifles, the source said. “But the process of surrendering of arms will continue as they have told us that many of their cadres are outside the state and more arms will be deposited when they will come.”
The source said the NDFB leaders have been categorically asked to strictly adhere to the ground rules and no violation would be tolerated.
“They have been asked not to indulge in any illegal activity. We are taking this matter very seriously because the October 30, 2008, serials blasts had taken place when the undivided NDFB was in ceasefire with the government,” the source said.
After the serial blasts, the outfit split into NDFB (Progressive), led by its general secretary Govinda Basumatary alias B. Swmkhwr, and the NDFB (R). Efforts are on to bring the Songbijit faction to the negotiating table, the source said.
“Till the Songbijit faction comes forward for talks, there will be no let-up in operations against this faction,” he added.
• Two designated camps to be set up at Udalguri and Dhubri
• 541 cadres to be lodged in these camps
• The outfit will initially deposit 40 weapons; more to be deposited later
• Suspension of operations agreement will remain in effect for 6 months
• After six months, pact will be reviewed