NDFB accuses govt of conspiring to derail talks

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Guwahati, Jul 15 (UNI) The National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), in ceasefire with the government for the last three years, today accused it of conspiring to derail the peace process with the militant group. '' We seriously believe that this negative publicity (of NDFB) is a part of a greater conspiracy on part of the government to derail the talks,'' Gobinda Basumatary, NDFB general secretary told reporters here.

The government had been accusing the Bodo outfit of violating truce ground rules, a charge denied by the group. '' The NDFB has never violated any ground rule. It is the government which is violating the rules,'' Mr Basumatary said.

The rebel leader warned of taking up arms again if the peace process failed to make any headway, adding that the dialogue had been stagnant due to lack of sincerity of the government.

Referring to the charter of demands submitted by the NDFB in May, Mr Basumatary said, '' We expect a prompt response from the government and hope that the peace talks would gain momentum.'' The NDFB leaders were in town to hold discussions with the All Koch Rajbonshi Students' Union (AKRSU) on mutual demands.

The NDFB has been demanding independent Bodoland, while the AKRSU, which was previously demanding only SC status for the community, now wants a separate Kamatapur carved out of Assam and West Bengal.

AKRSU general secretary Biswajit Ray, briefing reporters about the discussions, said topics of mutual interest were taken up.

He said no conclusive talks were held and the two parties would meet again to pursue today's initiative.

UNI SG KK RL HT1816

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