Monday, November 29, 1999

NDFB leader Daimary ready for talks, but without handcuffs

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Guwahati, May 16 (IANS) Terror mastermind and leader of the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) Ranjan Daimary Sunday said he was ready to hold unconditional peace talks with New Delhi but made it clear negotiations cannot be held with 'handcuffs on'.'I met my brother inside the court premises where he expressed the desire to sit for talks without any conditions, but made it amply clear that no negotiations can be held with handcuffs on,' Anjali Daimary, sister of the arrested Ranjan Daimary, told reporters.'He is not anti-talk and even didn't mention about sovereignty as a precondition for negotiations,' Anjali said when asked if the NDFB chief was sticking to its demand of sovereignty or independence. But she indicated that he wanted to be set free before the talks.Anjali met her brother inside the Chief Judicial Magistrate's (CJM) court Sunday for close to 90 minutes.The CJM court had sent the NDFB chief to nine days in custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).Daimary completed 16 days in police custody after he was handed over to Indian authorities by Bangladesh May 1.The NDFB leader is named as the main accused in a CBI charge sheet that probed the Oct 30, 2008, serial explosions in Assam that killed about 100 people and injured 400 more.'He (NDFB chief) wanted to take all his cadres and leaders into confidence and also talk to various Bodo groups so that once for all the Bodo problem can be resolved during talks with the government,' Anjali said, quoting Ranjan Daimary.But the NDFB chief hinted peace talks could be possible only if he was released and set free.'There can be no talks he said with handcuffs on. There has to be a congenial atmosphere for negotiations,' Anjali said.The NDFB under Ranjan Daimary's leadership announced a unilateral ceasefire in 2004 with New Delhi, but he once again resumed his campaign for an independent homeland for the Bodo tribe after differences over some clauses in the ceasefire agreement with the central government.The NDFB faction headed by its general secretary Gobinda Basumatary continued with the ceasefire, thereby leading to a split in the outfit in January 2010. Ranjan Daimary decided to break away and continue his separatist campaign out of Bangladesh.'It was he who declared a unilateral ceasefire and now there has to be an atmosphere to begin the peace process once again,' Anjali said.

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