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Tired of waiting, NDFB erupts

Kokrajhar, Aug. 20: Over a year into the ceasefire and with no sign of a dialogue with Delhi and Dispur on the horizon, National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) chief Ranjan Daimary has asked “India to leave Borol-and immediately” and blamed Assam police for the derailment of the peace process.

The NDFB’s outburst has come at a time when the Centre is trying to woo Ulfa to the negotiating table.

Reciprocating the army’s temporary suspension of operations, Ulfa on Friday announced its decision to hold fire, raising hopes for “direct” peace talks between both sides.

In an email interview with The Telegraph, Daimary scoffed at the government’s argument that talks had not begun because the NDFB was yet to submit its charter of demands. He said the government was bringing up this issue only to delay the process.

“But it is a futile exercise. The National Socialist Council of Nagaland, the United People’s Democratic Solidarity, the Dima Halam Daogah and the A’chik National Volunteers Council have all submitted their charters of demands. But where is the progress or the solution'” he asked.

“Our charter of demands is short and precise — India must recognise the historical facts and the right to self-determination of the Boro people and leave Boroland immediately,” Daimary asserted.

He said the NDFB had entered into a ceasefire with the Centre to find a peaceful and amicable political solution.

“We know that a political solution will take time. Occasionally, when I go through the newspapers, I find that some Indian officials are asking for a charter of demands. Delhi knows that we have been fighting for the past 20 years on the principles based on our constitution and manifesto. We have been fighting for the past 20 years for the liberation of Boroland and the Boro people. So the talks can start on the basis of that,” he said.

Daimary, alias D.R. Nabla, also sounded a note of warning to the police.

“Some elements of the Indian government are trying to derail the peace process, particularly Assam police. The police are killing our national workers despite a ceasefire being in force. But they should understand that we are also ready to work on both tracks — fighting as well as talking,” he said.

NDFB spokesman S. Sanjarang had earlier accused the security forces of torturing its members for information and had even threatened to pull out of the ceasefire with the Centre.

The NDFB has also sought information on the whereabouts of some of its leaders, including B. Erakdao, B. Habrang, Fwjoukhang, Jwkhrub, Derhasa, Onsula and Udla, and demanded their immediate unconditional release. They cannot be found and some, at least, are alleged to be in the “illegal” custody of either India or Bhutan. They had been missing since the operations of the Royal Bhutan Army in December 2003.

The NDFB, which has been fighting for a sovereign Boroland, entered into a ceasefire agreement with Delhi and Dispur on May 24. The ceasefire came into effect from June 1 last year.

The group has since held meetings with leaders of the Bodo and other communities to convince them to extend support to the peace talks.

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