Assam’s rebel Bodo group splits, extremist faction to wage war

December 27th, 2008 - 6:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, Dec 27 (IANS) The rebel National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) in Assam has split, with D.R. Nabla who was sacked as its chief claiming Saturday that he still heads the group and will continue to fight for independence. “I am still the president of the NDFB that has been fighting for the last 22 years for the right to national self-determination, independence and sovereignty,” Nabla told IANS.

The NDFB, blamed for the October serial bombings in Assam, removed its Bangladesh-based president, Nabla, last week and announced its decision to contest next year’s parliamentary elections either directly or indirectly.

The NDFB general assembly that met Dec 15 replaced its founder president Nabla alias Ranjan Daimary and appointed his deputy Dhiren Boro as its leader.

The NDFB is a rebel group fighting for an independent homeland for the Bodo tribe but the outfit has observed a ceasefire with New Delhi since 2005. The ceasefire expires Wednesday.

NDFB was one of the prime accused in the wave of bombings in Assam Oct 30 where close to 100 people were killed and 300 wounded.

“Whatever may come, as president I will never surrender the ideology and principle for which thousands have embraced martyrdom and fought for 22 years. The NDFB belongs to those who will continue to fight for the liberation of Bodoland and Bodo people,” Nabla said.

In an interesting development, the Nabla faction announced cessation of hostilities with members of the now disbanded Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT). The BLT, disbanded after it reached a peace accord with the central government in 2003, is a coalition partner of the ruling Congress government in Assam.

The NDFB and former BLT are engaged in a bitter turf war with fratricidal clashes claiming scores of lives in recent months.

“Today, as president of the NDFB, I declare to stop all enmity between NDFB and ex-BLT members. I appeal to our members and ex-BLT cadres to refrain from attacking each other for the greater interest of the Bodo nation,” the rebel statement said.

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