NDFB offers unilateral ceasefire for peace talks

January 5th, 2011 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Guwahati, Jan 5 (IANS) The anti-talk faction of the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) led by jailed separatist leader Ranjan Daimary has offered a unilateral ceasefire to pave the way for holding peace talks with the government.A formal letter offering a unilateral ceasefire was sent to the Assam government by the elusive NDFB vice chairman Rifhi Khang.

“It is true the NDFB vice chairman Rifhi Khang has offered a unilateral ceasefire and so we have urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to accept the offer and bring the anti-talk faction to the negotiating table,” Hagrama Mohilary, chairman of the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), a coalition partner of the ruling Congress party government in Assam, told IANS by telephone from New Delhi.

Mohilary led a delegation of the BPF and met the prime minister in New Delhi Wednesday.

Assam government sources confirmed the unilateral ceasefire offer, but refused to divulge details.

“There are positive developments with the NDFB anti-talk faction keen to join the peace process,” a senior official in the state home department said.

The NDFB is split into two factions - one led by jailed leader Ranjan Daimary and the other by Gobinda Basumatary.

The faction headed by Basumatary is in a ceasefire mode since 2005, although formal peace talks are yet to begin.

Ranjan Daimary was captured in Bangladesh in May and then handed over to India. He is now in judicial custody at the Guwahati Central Jail.

“We told the prime minister to speed up the peace process and begin formal political level talks with the pro-talk NDFB faction headed by Gobinda Basumatary,” Mohilary said.

Hagrama Mohilary was himself a separatist leade,r having led the outlawed Bodo Liberation Tiger (BLT) before the outfit Dec 6, 2003, renounced violence and surrendered en masse with arms and ammunition after the Bodo Accord was signed.

Under the accord, the central government announced creation of the Bodoland Territorial Council, a politico-administrative structure and Mohilary became its chief.

The former BLT later formed the BPF, a political party, and became a coalition partner of the Congress after the 2006 assembly elections.

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