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Assam attacks: NDFB(S) hand suspected in Kokrajhar violence

The Assam DGP has said that NDFB(S), a militant group active in Assam, may be responsible for the Assam gun attacks that has claimed lives of 13 civilians so far.

Media reports claim that the style of attack and the choice of ammunition is similar to NDFB(S) modus operandi, however, no group has claimed responsibility so far. The National democratic Front of Bodoland(Songbijit) is one of the largest insurgent group active in the region with more than 300 cadres in its folds. According to a Times of India report published a few months before the deadly 2014 Assam attacks, NDFB(S) continues to be the most powerful faction of the militant groups active in the region. The report also claimed that six new terror groups were in the offing, mainly consisting of surrendered militants and criminals who had gone back to the jungles.

Smoke rises after reported grenade attacks in the Kokhrajar area of Assam. Twitter @ANI_News

Smoke rises after reported grenade attacks in the Kokrajhar area of Assam. Twitter @ANI_News

During the period, possibly NDFB(S) also restrengthened itself by recruiting fresh cadres, as it continues to be the largest separatist faction that has remained out of the entire peace process.

However, despite its popularity, the group, which is a faction of the National Democratic Bodoland Front is of fairly recent vintage. After the original NDFB engaged in peace talks and signed the ceasefire treaty with the Indian government in 2005, it was split in several factions: those who were pro-talks and those who continued to indulge in militancy. NDFB(S) was formed in 2012 and was one of the strongest voices in the anti-peace talk factions, and has been a target of the Indian security forvces since then. Disgruntled over NDBF's bid to indulge in peace talk, IK Songbijit, the "army commander" of the group, seceded from the original party to form his anti-peace talk separatist faction in 2012, according to a report in Times of Assam

Though, interestingly as the group vows to not rest until it has a separate Bodoland, its founder Songbojit is not a Bodo himself. A Karbi by birth, Songbojit hails from Sonitpur district where the NDBF(S) has massacred as many as 31 innocent people, according to a report in The Indian Express. However, Songbojit conveniently dubs the lives lost as "collateral damage" in the course of a war of "rights" in his interview to Times of Assam. 

Since 2012, the group has indulged in multiple attacks and killed over 200 people. However, the Indian forces have continued to foil attempts of insurgency, seizing weapons on various occassions and have also neutralised several of its cadres.

According to a report in India Today, in April, three NDFB(S) terrorists were arrested while two others were killed in March. However, Friday's attack indicates that the militant group has fortified in the region.

In Balazan market area of Kokrajhar, Assam a fierce gun battle between militants and security forces broke out at around 11.30 am on Friday that has seen 13 killed so far, while 18 people have been injured. According to reports,several among those who died in the attacks are Bodos. A militant has also been neutralised by the security forces.

Updated Date: Aug 05, 2016 15:58 PM

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