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Assam: NDFB militants put ball in Centre's court
K Anurag in Guwahati | May 09, 2008 17:13 IST
Proscribed Bodo tribe militant group National Democratic Front of Bodoland, that is in ceasefire with the government of India since June 2005, has said that the ball was now in New Delhi's court to find a solution to the vexed problem in the wake of the outfit submitting its long pending charter of demands.
The actual peace talks with the NDFB, whose original demand was for a separate homeland for Bodo tribe, was yet to get off as the outfit took a very long time to submit its charter of demands.
"Now that we have submitted the charter of demands to New Delhi, it is now the turn of the government of India to show its sincerity to solve the NDFB problem and restore peace in Bodo heartland in Assam," NDFB spokesman S Sanjarang said.
The spokesman, however, declined to divulge details of the list demands submitted to the Central government. To a query as to whether the NDFB has asked for 'sovereignty' or 'self-determination', the spokesman said that self-determination was the legitimate right of all indigenous communities.
According an official source, the Assam government has warned the Centre to tread very cautiously while dealing with the NDFB and any wrong move on part of New Delhi would amount to granting mileage to another banned outfit, the United Liberation Front of Asom vis-�-vis any future peace process.
Meanwhile, various civil society groups among the Bodo tribal community including Bodo People's Forum for Peace and Rights and the Bodo Women Justice Forum have called upon the Centre to expedite the peace process with the NDFB for the sake of restoration of lasting peace in Bodo-dominated areas in Assam.
Leader of the BPFPR Bhramon Baglary commented that all demands of the NDFB that had been submitted to the Centre were within the framework of Constitution.
Leader of the BWJF Anjali Daimary, who is the sister of NDFB's fugitive chief Ranjan Daimary, told the media that the demands submitted by the NDFB had the approval of the outfit's commander-in-chief.
The NDFB had consulted civil society groups including the BPFPR and BWJF before finalising its charter of demands that has been submitted before New Delhi.
The NDFB or the erstwhile Bodo Security Force was formed in 1986 to launch armed struggle for a 'sovereign Bodoland'.