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Assam Govt For Extension Of Ban Against NDFB

SHILLONG, Apr 23: The Assam Government to-day sought extension of ban on the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) for two more years, saying the outfit has not shunned violence in the State.

Evidences of NDFB sponsored violence in Kamrup and Sonitpur districts were produced by Assam Government representatives to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Tribunal, headed by Justice PK Bhasin, during a hearing here this after- noon.

The tribunal is hearing the argument of the Ministry of Home Affairs seeking its nod on the Centre’s notification, issued on November 23 last year; to extend the ban by two years on the militant outfit, on the ground that it has so far not abjured violence.

In the last two years, two cases related to the outfit were registered in Kamrup district while six in Sonitpur district, an Assam government official at the hearing told PTI. The progress of the cases was submitted to the tribunal, he said.

Assam government representatives submitted before the tribunal that the group had been indulging in violence, attacks on civilians and security forces and carrying out extortion.

They cited that the group had carried out serial strikes in the western districts of Assam, mostly in Sonitpur, killing more than 20 people in Nov last year, after one of their cadres was gunned down by security forces. Confessions of arrested NDFB cadres were also produced before the tribunal.

Assam Govt counsel Abhijeet Roy said 18 evidences would be produced before the tribunal to support its submission for ex- tension of the ban. The tribunal, which will hold its next sitting in Guwahati, is expected to give its findings by third week of May, Roy said. No representative of NDFB was present at today’s hearing to oppose the ban.

Ranjan Daimary, the arrested chief of the anti-talks faction of NDFB declared a unilateral ceasefire for six months in January last, but the home ministry has been insisting that the cadres will have to abjure violence for talks to begin. A faction of the group under its General Secretary Gobinda Basumatary is currently under ceasefire and the cadres are in three designated camps set up in Assam following a tripartite agreement in 2005.

(Courtesy: Press Trust of India)

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