"They deserve exemplary punishment for their crimes"
Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday instructed the security forces to apprehend the leaders of the anti-talks faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) and the perpetrators of the brutal killing of 22 civilians in Assam from November 8 to 11 and bring them to justice.
“The security forces have been instructed to apprehend the leaders of the NDFB (anti-talks) faction and the perpetrators of the crimes, and bring them to justice. They deserve exemplary punishment for their crimes” said an official statement, issued after Mr. Chidambaram reviewed the situation in a meeting with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and senior Army and Assam police officials and the Central Paramilitary Forces at the Border Security Force (BSF) base at Patgaon here.
“The anti-talks faction of the NDFB claimed responsibility for the killings,” the statement added.
The Centre condemns the action of the NDFB (anti-talks) faction, and warns the faction that the NDFB is an unlawful association and will be dealt with firmly in accordance with law.
“Its leader Ranjan Daimary is in judicial custody, but seems unwilling to control the criminal actions of his faction,” the statement added.
It was also stated that the Central and Assam governments will hold talks with any group of faction that abjures violence, but will not countenance any group that indulges in wanton criminal acts. “Another faction of the NDFB is formally in talks with the Central government and the Government of Assam. The only way forward for these groups is talks,” the statement further stated.
It was noted during the review meeting that the aspirations of the Bodo people have been met substantially by the creation of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in 2003.
“It is a splendid model of self government. It has done good work for the development and prosperity of the people living within its jurisdiction especially the Bodo people,” the statement added.
It was also noted that the NDFB was not satisfied with the creation of the BTC and put forward demands, some of which fall outside the purview of the Constitution. Recently, the NDFB split into two factions.
Mr. Chidambaram conveyed to the Chief Minister his deep sense of grief on the loss of lives and requested him to provide compensation and other measures of relief to the families of the deceased. The Minister arrived in a special aircraft from Kolkata and retuned to Delhi after the review meeting, which lasted for about two hours.