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Centre rejects NDFB(S) ceasefire offer

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, Jan 20 - The Government has turned down the offers of the Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) for a ceasefire to start the process of talks. Meanwhile, the Centre has also decided not to talk with any insurgent group involved in killing of innocent persons.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) revealed that after receiving major setbacks in sustained operations by the police and security forces, the NDFB(S) has sent feelers on several occasions to go for a ceasefire agreement followed by talks with the Government. But such proposals from the outfit were emphatically turned down by the Government, sources added.

The MHA sources revealed that immediately after coming to power, the present Government at the Centre took a tough stand against outfits involved in killings of innocents and the same formula would be adopted in case of all other militant groups. Sources said that after the NDFB(S) was involved in killing of more than 70 persons on December 23, 2014, the Government of India decided to adopt a tough stand against it. Sustained operations, which are still on, broke the backbone of the outfit. The MHA is closely monitoring the operation and every force involved in it have to submit weekly reports for the perusal of the Government of India.

Sources further said that the Government has decided not to go for ad-hoc measures for solution of the problem of militancy. In the past, the Government of India agreed to talk to factions of militant groups, while some others remained outside the peace process and continued to indulge in violence and anti-national activities. Moreover, the other stakeholders were not involved in the process of talks. But from now on, the Government would try to go for comprehensive solution of the problems and there would be no discussion with any outfit involved in senseless killing of innocent people, sources added.

Sources pointed out that way back in 2004, the NDFB offered ceasefire after killing more than 50 persons in three days and the Assam Government readily accepted it. The State Government also managed to persuade the Centre to accept the offer of the militant group. The ceasefire agreement did not help in solving the problem, as more than 90 persons were killed on October 30, 2008 by members of the outfit, following which there was a split in the ranks of the NDFB. The outfit saw another split later and the NDFB(S) is still active, while the Government is holding talks with two other factions. Such ad-hoc measures would not be taken any more, sources added.

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