GUWAHATI: The 12-hour Assam Bandh called by the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) on Thursday to protest against the life sentence awarded to its president Ranjan Daimary and nine others affected normal life in the four Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD).
Life sentence was given by a special court on Wednesday to the 10 in connection with the October 30, 2008 serial blasts in the state. Eighty eight people were killed and 540 others injured in the nine blasts in Guwahati, Barpeta Road, Kokrajhar and Bongaigaon.
The bandh, however, had no effect in the rest of the state.
The NDFB, which was formed in the mid 1980s to secure a separate Bodoland state, is miffed with the judgment. The charge stemmed from the fact that leaders of other rebel groups, particularly United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), were let off for the sake of peace process despite their role in blasts.
Dozens of NDFB members shouted slogans such as “Long live NDFB”, “Divide Assam 50-50” etc on Wednesday while the convicts were being whisked away from the court.
The Peoples Joint Action Committee for Bodoland, which is a conglomerate of several Bodo organisations, is unhappy with the verdict and termed it as “biased”.
Its deputy convener Gorjon Mushahary said life term to Daimary and others could derail the ongoing peace process.
Daimary’s sister and social activist Anjali Daimary said, “We did not have any expectation from the court. We knew we are not going to get anything in Assam. Conviction and peace process cannot go together. We will keep fighting for justice”.
Daimary was arrested in Bangladesh in 2010 and handed over to India. In 2013, he managed to walk out on bail after the CBI had not opposed his conditional bail.