Assam: 23 members of newly formed Bodo militant outfit NLFB surrender
Twenty three members of a newly formed Bodo militant outfit, National Liberation Front of Bodoland (NLFB), including its commander in chief Binod Mushahary alias M Batha, surrendered at a ceremony in Assam on Thursday.
The cadres laid down arms at Mazbat in Udalguri district in presence of parliamentary affairs minister Pijush Hazarika, chief executive member of Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) Pramod Boro and senior police and administrative officials.
“People’s trust on the government. policies is reflected by NLFB’s decision to return to the mainstream today. I welcome their homecoming,” Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted on Thursday.
“We reiterate our commitment for all-round development of Bodoland and to protect the unique socio-cultural and political identity of Bodo people,” he added.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had announced a reward of ₹10 lakh on M Batha, who had been hiding in Arunachal Pradesh along with his cadres. All of them travelled on foot and police-escorted vehicles to the surrender ceremony.
“Our organization NLFB has decided to come overground and join the mainstream for the best interest of the state and for upholding the peace and integrity of the region,” a press statement signed by NLFB president read.
It added that the outfit is abjuring violence and putting a halt to their armed struggle for creation of a separate Bodoland state.
Batha and his cadres were part of the 1,615 militants who surrendered in January last year after signing of the third Bodo peace pact between the Centre and four factions of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).
But Batha and his followers went back to the jungles after few months and formed NLFB. Details of the new outfit emerged in February this year after a large cache of arms meant for NLFB was seized in Assam.
In a statement issued in March, the outfit had stated that formation of a separate state of Bodoland for people from the Bodo tribe was their main goal.