GUWAHATI: A hardcore militant, belonging to Saoraigwra faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-S), was gunned down by the security forces in an encounter in Assam’s Kokrajhar district.
According to defence sources, the Army killed Jewel Narzary alias Tamang alias Jwnwm, who was an area commander of the outfit, at a place near the India-Bhutan border on Wednesday.
Army personnel raided the area based on specific inputs. When they zeroed in on the rebel, he challenged them by opening fire and tried to escape. In the resultant “controlled” fire, he was hit and he succumbed to his injuries later, the sources said.
The incident occurred just days after some 50 militants, belonging to the NDFB faction, entered Nagaland and Manipur from their hideouts in Myanmar and surrendered, reportedly to join peace talks. Their top leaders, including Saoraigwra, are believed to be in Delhi now for a peace process with the Central government.
This NDFB faction, earlier headed by S Songbijit, was responsible for the massacre of over 80 Adivasis (tea tribe community) in December 2014. Following the bloodbath, most of its members fled to Myanmar and Bhutan as the security forces launched a massive operation against the rebels. The operation is still continuing.
A defence source told this newspaper they had not received any direction from the government for suspension of the operation against the outfit.
“There is no direction with respect to whether there is a settlement or suspension of the operation against the group. Some 12-14 rebels of the outfit, including its leaders G Bidai and Batha, are holed up in Bhutan. There is no guarantee that they will follow in the footsteps of fellow rebels as they are facing charges from the National Investigation Agency and the charges are of heinous nature due to their role in the massacre,” a defence source said.
“If we get a direction tomorrow to stop the operation, we will stop it the very next minute,” it added.
There is a perception Bidai and Batha, both most wanted militants, could form a breakaway faction.