Bodo Peace Agreement Likely to be Signed on January 27, Rebel Leader Gets Bail to Join Process

Guwahati: The Center may sign a tripartite agreement with all factions of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) on January 27. Senior leaders of the rebel outfit, who have been camping in Delhi since Thursday, held informal meetings with Centre’s interlocutor AB Mathur and officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi on Friday.

“It is the final stage before signing the agreement. Some points remain to be agreed upon, so we are negotiating with interlocutor Mathur starting today. We hope the negotiations will be completed by January 26 and the agreement will signed in the next one or two days,” a top leader of the Gobinda Basumatary-led NDFB (Progressive) said.

On Thursday, all central committee members of B Saoraigwra-led NDFB (S), including the wanted rebel leader G Bidai, reached national capital for negotiations with the Centre. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has placed G Bidai on its most wanted list.

The NDFB(S) had, on January 16, signed a tripartite agreement, over suspension of operations, with the central and state governments. As per the agreement, the NDFB(S) will give up violence and join peace talks with the government.

Over 50 active members of NDFB(S), including its President B Saoraigwra, returned from Myanmar on January 11 to join the peace process. Later, two other top leaders of the outfit, G Bidai and B Batha also expressed their desire to join the process and reached Kokrajhar on January 22.

Meanwhile, founder president Ranjan Daimary, alias DR Nabla, got interim bail from the Gauhati High Court on Friday. “As per instructions, we filed a bail petition in the Gauhati High Court on Thursday and a divisional branch of the court on Friday granted interim bail to Ranjan Daimary for four weeks to let him join the peace process in New Delhi. He will be coming out from Guwahati Central Jail on Saturday afternoon and will fly to New Delhi in the evening,” senior Advocate Manash Saraniya said.

A CBI special court of Guwahati on January 30, 2019 sentenced Ranjan Daimari, the President of the NDFB (R), and nine others to life imprisonment for their role in the deadly October 30, 2008 serial bomb blasts that killed 88 people and injured 540 others in Assam. Four others were convicted under certain sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, where the maximum punishment is five to seven years.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which probed the serial blasts case since December 2008, had charge-sheeted 22 persons in the case. Seven of them were declared absconders and three among them are believed to have died in encounters with the security forces.​