Bodo rebels to discuss truce extension

Updated on Nov 28, 2006 01:26 PM IST

The Govt and Assam's Bodo rebel leaders meet today to seek extension of the ceasefire that ends in two days.

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None | ByIndo-Asian News Service, Guwahati

The government and an influential tribal separatist group in Assam meet in New Delhi Tuesday to seek extension of a fragile ceasefire that ends in two days, rebel leaders said in Guwahati.

A six-member rebel team of the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) led by its general secretary Govinda Basumatary will meet top home ministry officials on Tuesday.

"We want the government to be sincere in its approach and if we see a positive attitude then the ceasefire could be extended," Basumatary said over the phone.

The ceasefire is due to expire on Thursday. The NDFB leadership was peeved at New Delhi's delay in starting peace talks and has even threatened to go underground.

"There is no point in extending the ceasefire if the government shows no interest in initiating talks with us," another senior rebel leader said.

The NDFB is a rebel group fighting for an independent homeland for the Bodo tribe since 1986. The Indian government and the NDFB signed a one-year ceasefire pact in May last year aimed at ending two-decades of violence in Assam that left thousands dead.

The Bodos, a primitive tribe who are mostly either Hindus or Christians, account for about 10 percent of Assam's 26 million people and live in the western and northern part of the state.

Under the ceasefire agreement, the NDFB cadres were lodged in government run camps until a final settlement was reached with the rebels.

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