Bodo militants drop sovereignty demand

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Guwahati, Oct 1 (UNI) Assam today rejoiced the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)'s decision of dropping the sovereignty demand for a separate Bodo nation.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi led the state in welcoming the development by announcing that he would not allow anymore division of the state. ''There will be no more division of the state,'' he announced.

The BJP, AGP and AGP (P) have welcomed the development saying that the practical and pragmatic approach of the NDFB would not only help bring back peace to the state but also encourage the other groups to eschew violence.

In a significant development last night, the radical Bodo militant group- NDFB formally gave up the demand for sovereignty and assured the Centre that the outfit would try to find solution to the problems within the framework of the Constitution.

The term of the cease-fire agreement with the NDFB has been extended by a period of three months with effect from tomorrow to enable the outfit to come up with specific demands.

This morning AGP vice-president Durga Das Boro, AGP (P) vice- president Gunin Hazarika and BJP president Ramen Deka cutting across party lines have welcomed the development.

The NDFB have been fighting for a separate nation since 1986, killing and maiming more than 7,600 people in the last two decades in the name of sovereignty. They announced a ceasefire on October 8, 2004.

The Central and state governments yesterday held a long meeting with the leaders of the NDFB at New Delhi, following which the outfit gave the assurance to seek solution of the problems within the framework of the Constitution.

Giving a detailed account of the events leading to yesterday's development, Mr Gogoi today said though the outfit, after repeated requests by the Government, had submitted a charter of demands a few months back to start the ball rolling for talks, the government officially did not recognise them.

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