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Centre warns rebels in truce
- Daimary cadres told not to stray

New Delhi, Jan. 22: The Centre has warned the NDFB faction led by Ranjan Daimary that its cadres straying out of designated camps without approval would be treated on a par with militants from the Songbijit faction.

Songbijit’s cadres have killed at least eight non-Bodos in the past five days. The Centre rushed 10 paramilitary companies to the Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) yesterday. It has asked the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) to form a special operations group (SOG) to counter the militants.

SSB guards the international border with Nepal and Bhutan. The border with Bhutan along BTAD’s Chirang district is considered particularly volatile as militants often cross over to that country. Coordination has been improved with the Bhutan authorities also, sources said.

“We have directed that anyone, including Ranjan Daimary faction cadres, found moving around in an unauthorised manner will be treated as any other militant,” said Shambhu Singh, joint secretary (Northeast) in the ministry of home affairs. “The instructions are not to lower guard and engage them,” he added.

Assam police have also announced a total cash reward of Rs 95 lakh on 15 top leaders of the NDFB (S). The outfit’s “commander-in-chief” Songbijit Ingti Kathar has a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head. Songbijit is believed to have sought asylum with other northeastern militant groups based in Myanmar.

Sources said violence has erupted in the Bodo areas in the run-up to Republic Day and “because there is space” in the absence of other active groups.

The Progressive (led by Govinda Basumatary) and Ranjan Daimary factions of the NDFB are both engaged in peace talks with the Centre.

The Centre’s move may be a signal to other outfits as well who have signed suspension of operations agreements with the Centre or tripartite agreements while retaining weapons. An inter-factional conflagration in Zunheboto district of Nagaland last month had thrown up the issue of insurgents carrying weapons out of designated camps.


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