What Indian Army’s plans to do to crush NDFB-S in Assam

NEW DELHI,Manan Kumar: In the aftermath of gruesome bloodbath orchestrated by NDFB (S) National Democratic Front of Assam-Songbijit, Centre has directed the Army to play a much larger role in Assam. The blue print of Army’s intervention was discussed in detail in a meeting between union home minister Rajnath Singh and Army chief, General Dalbir Singh Suhag on Friday.

Protesters block national highway at Sivasagar district of northeastern Assam state on Friday. The 12-hour bandh was called by All Adivasi students association against the massacre of innocent Adivasi people PTI

Why did the govt give Army a larger role?
The reason lies in lackadaisical – blow hot blow cold approach of Assam police in dealing with the NDFB (S) insurgents that has allowed them it grow from a mere 25 strong outfit to a potent force of 200 plus cadre. The Centre thinks that only a concerted operations by the Army can flush out NDFB (S) that is trying to ignite an ethnic conflict in Assam. There is a lurking danger of a backlash by tea tribe Adivasi who outscore Bodo’s by 1:3 in terms of population.

What action is happening on the ground?
According to informed sources GOC of 4 Corps, head of operations of Unified Command in Assam, has been been given a go ahead to decide and carry out operations. Following orders Army has intensified operations in the jungles of Chirang, Sonitpur and Kokrajhar by pressing in 66 columns and is likely to increase the strength. It has also launched operations along the Bhutan border with the help of 2000 Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel. It has also been asked to undertake area domination to quell any possibility of further terror strikes and backlash.

What is on the anvil?
There is a likelihood of Indian Army undertaking coordinated operations along with Bhutanese Army to hit at the bases of NDFB (S) that ae located in the jungles of Indo-Bhutan border. India is also in talks with Myanmar to carry out operations.

How strong is NDFB-S and who control it?
NDFB (S) came into being in 2012 after a split in NDFB (Ranjan Daimary faction) when it army chief I K Songbijit took the reins and formed NDFB (S). From a mere strength of 25 cadres it now over 250 cadre – about 145 armed cadre strength is in Assam that is headed by second in command, Bidai and about 90-100 of its cadres, according to intelligence inputs, are undergoing training in the jungles of northern Myanmar. Incidentally, head of this Bodo insurgent outfit Songbijit is not a Bodo but a Karbi. His latest phone intercepts point out that he is hiding somewhere in northern Myanmar.

What are the demands of NDFB (S)?
Though it demands complete sovereignty for Bodoland, it has become an outfit of criminals, thugs and extortionists. Right now, NDFB (S) has 5 abducted businessmen in its possession that it wants to trade off by taking huge ransom amount.