Kokrajhar attack: All you need to know about separatist outfit NDFB

  • Digambar Patowary, Hindustan Times, Guwahati
  • Updated: Aug 06, 2016 07:29 IST
Smoke comes out of shops after an attack by NDFB(S) terrorists in the market area at Balajan Tinali near Kokrajhar town in Assam. (PTI Photo)

The National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) is a separatist outfit, which seeks to secure a sovereign Bodoland in Assam for the Bodo people.

The outfit has been declared a terrorist organisation by the government of India owing to the attacks carried out by its members.

NDFB traces its origin to the Bodo Security Force, a militant group formed in 1986 with an aim to liberate Bodoland from what they termed an Indian ‘expansionism’ and ‘occupation’. The group has carried out several attacks in Assam, targeting non-Bodo civilians and the security forces. It has in particular targeted the Santhal, Munda and Oraon adivasis (tribals), whose ancestors were brought to Assam as tea labourers during British Raj.

Read | Assam: Suspected Bodo militants fire at Kokrajhar market, 13 killed

Its large-scale attacks against the tribals during the 1996 Assam Legislative Assembly elections led to the formation of a rival militant group – the Adivasi Cobra Force.

During the 1990s, the NDFB established 12 camps on the Bhutan-Assam border. The organisation suffered a reversal of fortune during the Royal Bhutan Army’s Operation All Clear and signed a ceasefire with the Indian authorities in May 2005.

This was followed by the group splitting into NDFB (Progressive) and NDFB (Ranjan) in 2008. The progressive faction led by the outfit’s general secretary Govinda Basumatary supported peace talks with the government, while the NDFB(R) continued its armed struggle. In 2012, NDFB(R) further split, leading to the formation of NDFB(S), which is led by a non-Bodo IK Songbijit.

In 2008, the outfit under Ranjan Daimary’s leadership carried out Assam’s biggest terror attack by triggering serial blasts in Kokrajhar, Bongaingaon , Barpeta Road and Guwahati. The terror attack claimed close to 100 lives besides injuring over 500 people.

Read | How and why the Kokrajhar attack in Assam took place

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