NDFB observes 28th tiol martyrs' day
From our Correspondent
KOKRAJHAR, September 14: Different factions of the tiol Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) observed the 28th tiol martyrs’ day of the outfit at different places on Wednesday in a befitting manner. The NDFB (Progressive) observed the day in their desigted camps in Kokrajhar, Baksa and Udalguri while the anti-talk faction of the NDFB, led by B.Saoraigwra, also reportedly observed the day at an undisclosed location.
The NDFB-Progressive asserted that martyrdom for the cause of the Bodos would help the society to exist as a strong tiolity in the world. During the 28th tiol martyrs’ day, the NDFB (all factions) remembered over 2,000 leaders, cadres and civilians who sacrificed their lives for the cause of the Bodo people at the hands of the successive occupatiol forces.
In Serfanguri desigted camp, Kokrajhar, speaker of the NDFB (P), B. Benga alias Sunil Basumatary, hoisted the organizatiol flag at half-mast as a mark of respect to the martyrs while the general secretary of the ABSU, Lawrence Islary and vice president of the NDFB (P), B. Jaikhlong paid homage and offered flowers to the martyrs respectively. The programme was also attended by information and publicity secretary, S. Sanjarang, tiol council member of the outfit, B.Bwlwgwra, deputy chief convener of People’s Joint Action Committee for Bodoland movement, Garjan Mashahary and other senior leaders.
In his speech, the speaker of the NDFB (P), B.Benga said the outfit was formed on October 3, 1986 at Odla Kashibari in Udalguri district to start the armed struggle to liberate Bodoland. He said on September 14, 1988, the Action Commander (now army chief) of the Bodo Security Force, later re-christened as NDFB, B.Bangburgwra became the first martyr of the armed struggle and since then the outfit has been observing the day as tiol martyrs’ day. He said the NDFB (P) came to ceasefire in 2005 after 19 years of armed struggle for Bodoland and engaged in the peace talks. But in more than a decade of their ceasefire, the Government of India had not taken proactive measure for political solution of their problems.
B.Benga said, “We may change our tactics of struggle depending on time and situation but our struggle for right to self-determition is not over but it will go on till we achieve our goal. We must stick to our stand for Bodoland.” He added that every cadre and member of the NDFB should be ready to die for the Bodo tion. He also said that political backing was important for solution of Bodo problems. He said more than 2,000 lives had been lost during the 30 years of struggle.
B.Benga said that the NDFB (P) had been on peaceful dialogue for the last 10 years with the Government of India. The Government of India often says that it does not have policy for creating new States, whereas the government declared Telenga state at midnight on December 9, 2009 and despite stiff opposition from large sections of people of Andra Pradesh, Telenga state formally came into being in 2014. He also warned that the historical and political injustices meted out to the Bodo people by denying the creation of separate state would no longer be tolerated. He said the Bodos superficially seemed to be divided but they were interlly united, especially on the issue of Bodoland state.
The general secretary of the ABSU, Lawrence Islary said, “Martyrs are martyrs, we do not want to specify them of NDFB martyrs, BLT martyrs or ABSU martyrs but all of them are Bodos and laid down their lives for the same cause of the Bodos.” He said at least 5,000 Bodo people had sacrificed their lives, including 1,135 ABSU martyrs, for the cause of Bodoland and the community as a whole should respect their sacrifice without specification.
Islary said the struggle for Bodoland could take a long time but there was no question of sitting silent until the Bodoland state was created. He said Telenga also took over 50 years to get statehood and thus the Bodos could get the same pain. He said the ABSU wanted a united movement for Bodoland. He also called upon all to be aware of the fact that the divide-and-rule policy was still being used against the Bodos and hence everybody should be cautious.
Talking to media persons, the publicity secretary S. Sanjarang said the NDFB had been fighting with the Government of India over the last 29 years and talks with the government on separate state issue was going on in positive track. He said the outfit expected early solution of Bodoland problem through peaceful dialogue but the Government of India was deliberately delaying as there had been no fresh dialogue under the new NDA government at the Centre led by rendra Modi. He said the Government of India should take proactive steps to bring amicable solution through meaningful dialogue.
On the other hand, president of the anti-talk faction of the NDFB, B.Saoraigwra in a press statement said, “In the course of the long Bodoland movement, we have lost thousands of members of Bodoland Army, many are missing and many people were harassed and killed by the Indian security forces. So, in the time of difficulty we must not lose sight of our achievement, we must see the bright future and must pick up our courage.” He said the Bodo people were suffering but it was their duty to exert themselves in struggle. He said the NDFB had firm belief in its principle and ideology and would always stick to their stand for Bodoland. He said, “We are determined to fight until we get our freedom.”