Bangaluru arrests unmasking top cadres, hunt for Bidai intensified
BY A STAFF REPORTER
Rangiya (Kamrup), January 31: It is an insurgent outfit that claims to be fighting for a sovereign ’Bodoland’–a land for the Bodos. However, its present chief is a Karbi, its assistant organizing secretary a Tiwa. In fact, security agencies say there are several non–Bodo cadres in the rank and file of the NDFB(S).
Security agencies are mystified by the identity of some of the outfit’s cadres coming to light recently, especially after the arrest of its organizing secretary Sanju Bordoloi alias Shibigiri by the tiol Investigation Agency (NIA) in a joint operation with Kartaka Police at Bangaluru.
Bordoloi, who has been taken into seven days custody by NIA, is a resident of Kahikuchi under Khetri police station of Kamrup (metro) district.
“There are other cadres in the outfit as well who are not from the Bodo community,” said a senior police official in Kokrajhar.
The chief of NDFB(S) Ingti Kathar Songbijit is from the Karbi community. He hails from a small village at Phulbari near Biswath Chariali, not far from the village where his men gunned down over 30 Adivasi villagers on December 23 last.
Songbijit, it is learnt, was good at studies in childhood. “As he was from a poor family, he used to stay and study at the house of an Adivasi teacher. During his college days, he started a timber business. He came in touch with the NDFB founder chairman Ranjan Daimary in Aruchal Pradesh, as he used to go there for business purpose. Daimary handpicked this young man and made him area commander of Sonitpur. Before long, he catapulted himself to the top of the organization,” said a source.
After several splits and setbacks, the NDFB(S) has of late been reduced to a mere gang of terrorists. Its targets have mostly been innocent people living in far–flung under–developed villages where security presence is nil.
In fact, the outfit has been also blamed for extorting petty amounts from small time traders like pan shop owners in the north bank areas.
“There is a difference between insurgents and terrorists. Normally, insurgents target security forces and the government. Those who kill innocents are terrorists. NDFB(S) is nothing but a terrorist outfit with no ideology whatsoever,” said GOC of Red Horns Division Maj Gen CP Mohanty.
He said the cadres who have joined the outfit, strayed away from the mainstream due to various reasons, mainly poverty.
“It is a way to earn easy money through kidpping and extortion,” the officer, who heads the army operations in lower Assam, said.
Since the December 23 carge that left 81 people dead, security forces have bbed around 180 members of the rebel outfit, including some high–ranking cadres.
Sources said cadres of the outfit started fleeing to neighbouring Myanmar, as well as Aruchal Pradesh and galand after the operations were intensified following pressure from New Delhi.
Maj Gen Mohanty said security forces have stepped up measures to b Bidai, the deputy ‘army’ chief of the outfit, and at least four important cadres – Batha, Madan, So and Soha.
The NDFB was origilly born as ‘Bodo Security Force’ way back in 1986. The outfit changed its me in 1994. It suffered a major split in 2008 after the serial blasts in the State. Secretary Gobinda Basumatary then constituted the NDFB (Progressive). Songbijit, who was elevated to ‘army commander’ in 2009, fell out with the top leadership and floated NDFB(S) in 2013, now the outfit’s most dreaded faction.