Centre in talks with Bodo leader Daimary
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Last Updated: Wednesday, August 03, 2011, 14:06
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 progress.

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 violence.

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 Constitution.

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 others.

"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.


First Published: Wednesday, August 03, 2011, 14:06

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