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NDFB threat looms over polls Outfit labels Cong candidate anti-Bodo

Tezpur/Guwahati, March 21: The Songbijit faction of the NDFB today termed Bhupen Bora, the Congress candidate from Tezpur constituency, “anti-Bodo”.

In a statement emailed to the media today, NDFB (S) leader B.R. Ferenga asked Bodo people not to vote for Bora alleging he was behind the anti-Bodo and other anti-tribal organisations in the state.

The threat has prompted Assam police to review and upgrade Bora’s security.

Inspector-general of police (law and order) S.N. Singh told The Telegraph there was a threat to Bora’s life from the outfit and additional arrangements have been made for his security. He, however, refused to divulge what arrangements had been made.

Apart from Bora, the outfit also criticised Sootea MLA Padma Hazarika. The NDFB faction accused Bora and Hazarika of creating a division among the Bodos and warned them of dire consequences.

Reacting to the development, Bora said he is not scared of such illegal organisations and that he will never bow down to them.

Bora, however, denied reports of the NDFB (S) demanding money from him. The outfit, too, in the emailed statement, denied serving any extortion notice to Bora.

In its statement, the outfit alleged a nexus between Bora and the NDFB (R) chief Ranjan Daimary.

The NDFB (S) claimed that Bora had paid a hefty sum of money to Daimary to help him get Bodo votes in the election. The Tezpur constituency has a sizeable Bodo population.

On a recent haul of arms meant for the NDFB (S), the police officer said the outfit was trying to replenish its weaponry. “The outfit may try to create trouble ahead of the election but all necessary measures have been taken to foil their plans,” Singh said.

Police had seized two AK-56 rifles meant for NDFB (S) cadres from Chapaguri in Chirang district on Wednesday. The arms were brought from Nagaland and were supposed to be handed over to cadres of the outfit at Barpeta Road.

In another development, security forces arrested an NDFB (S) cadre from Khetri area of Guwahati last night and seized a US-made 9mm pistol and three rounds of ammunition from him.

The accused has been identified as Saitom Rabha, 20, hailing from Chandpur village in Kokrajhar district.

Sources said Rabha was arrested by a joint team of police and CRPF personnel based on intelligence inputs provided by the army’s Gajraj intelligence.

According to a source, the accused was staying at Hotel Minerva in Panbazar here for the past two weeks.

“When security forces went to the hotel to apprehend him last night, he managed to give them a slip and escaped in a Santro. Security forces gave a chase and finally his car was intercepted at a mobile checkpost in Khetri,” he said.

He was later brought back to the hotel where the hotel staff identified him. Subsequently, his room was opened and a search conducted.

The Santro, Rs 3,400 in cash, a mobile phone and a driving licence were also recovered from him.

“It is suspected he was tasked by outfit to carry out a kidnapping. He is being interrogated so we can know more details,” the source said.

He is likely to be produced in court tomorrow.