New Delhi: The Centre is engaged in back
channel talks with jailed chief of National Democratic Front
of Bodoland (NDFB) Ranjan Daimary in Assam, Home Minister P
Chidambaram said today.
"We are talking with Ranjan Daimary....He is in
prison... We are talking with him through the back channel,"
Chidambaram said in Rajya Sabha during Question Hour.
He said that the Union Government was in touch with
Daimary and hoped that once the talks start there would be
He said one faction of the NDFB was in favour of talks
with the government, but the one led by Daimary was not.
The minister said the Centre was committed to engage
in political dialogue with any group, which is ready to shun
NDFB was formed under Daimary`s leadership in November
1994 to demand separate Bodoland in Assam.
The outfit broke into two following the Assam bomb
blast in 2008 in which Daimary was named as the mastermind.
The hardline faction of NDFB, which project itself as the real
NDFB, is led by Daimary.
Chidambaram said the Sixth Schedule of the
Constitution was amended for creation of Bodoland Territorial
Council (BTC), which took office in May 2005. Bodo language
has also been included in the Eighth Schedule of the
He said 846 ex-Bodo Liberation Tiger (BLT) cadres have
also been recruited in central police forces and approval for
appointment of 400 ex-BLT cadres as Special Police Officers
(SPOs) has been given to the state government. Asked whether
the recent Supreme Court judgment on SPOs would affect this
decision, he said, "I don`t think so".
A Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) was signed between
the central government, Assam government and the Bodo
Liberation Tiger in 2003 for setting up the Bodoland
Territorial Council in Assam and inclusion of the Bodo
language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution among
"The government is committed to implement MoS in
letter and spirit. The implementation of MoS is being reviewed
in the ministry periodically," he said.
He said the Assam Government had late last year
recommended inclusion of the tribes living in Karbi Anglong
and N C Hills districts and Scheduled Tribes (hills) living in
the plain districts of Assam in the list of Scheduled Tribes
(Hills) along with Bodo Kacharis.
"As per approved modalities of the government, the
proposal of the government of Assam needs consultation with
Registrar General of India and National Commission for
Schedule Tribes," he said.