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Songbijit 'ousted' from NDFB

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  27 Jun 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Is the Bodo rebel group heading for yet another split?

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, June 26: It's official. A group led by former general secretary B Saoraigra has dissolved the NDFB's interim council formed in 2012, forming a new 'general council' ousting IK Songbijit.

The development is seen by many as a precursor to yet another split in the Bodo rebel group, the fourth since its formation.

In an e-mailed statement to the media on Friday, B Saoraigra, the new president of the 'general council' said, "The general assembly (of the outfit) held on April 14 and 15 has vowed to revamp our tiol struggle and declare that the former interim tiol council of NDFB is dissolved. A new tiol council is formed to fight for the liberation of sovereign, independent Boroland by strengthening our policy."

Dreaded NDFB leader G Bidai, said to be the mastermind of the December 23 massacre of over 80 Adivasi people, has been med the vice president of the new 19-member tiol council while BR Ferrenga will be the new general secretary.

IK Songbijit, who was the president of the interim council announced three years back, doesn't figure in the new list.

While the outfit has been forced to the wall by security forces after the December violence, reports indicated that its top leaders are not seeing eye-to-eye on different issues.

Even security forces are baffled at the formation of the new council without Songbijit.

Security sources said that the rebel outfit is in disarray following intensified operations after the December 23 massacre that forced most of its leaders to flee the State. Nearly two hundred cadres and sympathizers of the outfit have been bbed since January, disabling the Bodo rebel outfit which, according to security officials, did not have an inkling that the government would react in such a forceful manner.

"Most of the cadres are on the run. They are not able to operate due to the presence of a large number of security personnel. This has also hampered their other activities, mainly extortion on which they depend for their funds. Many are blaming mismagement by Songbijit for their present plight," said a security source.

There are also reports about differences cropping up within the NDFB leadership on several issues, in the wake of which Songbijit, a Karbi by birth, offered to quit.

Earlier, there were reports that Bidai had carried out the attacks on Adivashis without the knowledge of Songbijit. There is, however, no corroboration of the report.

In November, 2012, the NDFB had split formally into three factions, with the group led by its Myanmar-based military chief Songbijit announcing a new interim council to carry forward its armed struggle on the lines of other factions of the organization, who are steadfastly sticking to the demand for sovereignty of the region.

The other two factions are led by Ranjan Daimary and Gobinda Basumatary - both in talks with the government currently.

The NDFB was formed with the aim of securing a sovereign country for Bodos, the largest plains tribe in the state of Assam, in the areas north of the river Brahmaputra.

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