Songbijit removed as c-in-c in new NDFB(S) council

The Bodo outfit is making frantic attempts to regroup following intense operations by security forces after the December 23 massacre

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, May 3: Forced to the wall due to intense pressure from security forces and with its top leaders not seeing eye-to-eye on different issues, the NDFB(S) has gone in for a makeover. The major fallout of this realignment is the removal of the dreaded IK Songbijit as the military commander of the outfit.

Songbijit has been shunted to the lesser post of ‘advisor’ as the NDFB(S) revamped its general council following the continuing setbacks it has suffered in the all-out operations launched by security forces after the December 23 massacre of Adivashis last year.

B Ronjabaja, hailing from Barpeta, has been appointed as the new commander-in-chief of the outfit, interceptions by security agencies revealed.

In the new fifteen-member council, former general secretary B Saoraigra of Chirang has been promoted as president.

Interestingly, the deputy ‘c-in-c’ G Bidai, who is reported to have orchestrated the attacks on Adivashis, has been appointed vice president of the outfit.

BR Ferenga has been med the new general secretary.

The outfit also changed the commanders of all its four commands – eastern, central, western and southern.

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. This has prompted a revamp in the outfit,” said a security source.

There are also reports about differences cropping up within the NDFB(S) leadership on several issues, in the wake of which Songbijit, a Karbi by birth, offered to quit. “But he was appointed as an advisor, though he was not shunted out completely,” said a source. 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 army 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 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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