National Liberation Front of Bodoland (NLFB) Chief M Batha has taken a big U-turn regarding his surrender. While speaking to the media in Guwahati on Friday he informed that he has not surrendered to the government but has just ceased fire for peace talks.
“We have not surrendered. Many people have got the wrong notion that we have surrendered, which is not true. We are at a cease-fire till the talks on the implementation of BTR are a success. We also demand freedom for all our members who are in jail.” M Batha said.
The NLFB chief also informed that a total of 22 NLFB cadres have come for the peace talks. “I will disband the NLFB if the implementation of BTR is fruitful. More than 200 more cadres of NLFB will come for the peace talks. However, we have not decided any time limit for the peace talks”, he said. Asserting that their surrender is up to the Chief Minister, Batha further said, “It is up to the CM whether he wants to finish the peace talks within two months or wants to extend it to two years or five years. We have a total of more than 200 NLFB cadres and are ready to come to the mainstream if the implementation of BTR becomes a success.”
Meanwhile, the NLFB Chief had held negotiation talks with Assam Police in Udalguri on Thursday in the presence of special DGP GP Singh and peace mediators Thulunga Basumatary and Prithviraj Narayan Dev Mech. After the meeting, NLFB released a statement stating that the militant organization had decided to come overground and join the mainstream.
“We would like to publicly declare that respecting upon the call of the Hon’ble CM, Assam and the initiatives taken under the guidance of the Special DGP, Assam, Shri G.P. Singh, IPS, and other concerned authorities of the Assam Police, our organization NLFB has decided to come overground and join the mainstream onwards for the best interest of the state and for upholding the peace and integrity of the region,” the press release stated.
Reacting to Batha’s statement, CM Himanta Biswa Sarma stated, “The key is to bring peace back to Assam. Batha can use words other than ‘surrender’ if they have objection to the word surrender.
People’s trust on the Govt policies is reflected by NLFB’s decision to return to the mainstream today.I welcome their homecoming.We reiterate our commitment for all round the development of Bodoland and to protect the unique Socio – cultural and political identity of Bodo people.
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 22, 2021