Anjali, You Are Assamese First

Bodo Womens Justice Forum chairperson Anjali Daimay
Bodo Womens Justice Forum chairperson Anjali Daimay. Photo credit: Assam Times

Pranab Kumar Gogoi

The October 30th, 2008 is always a sad memory for the people of Assam.  It was a bloodletting Thursday, which claimed life of 88 people injuring more than 500 innocent souls as 11 high explosives were detonated in  Kokrajhar, Guwahati and Barpeta including immense loss of properties to the accounts.  Just after the blasts, Jihadi forces of the state were suspected behind the tragic incident. However, telephonic interceptions changed the course of investigation and finally needle of suspicion of went towards National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB).

In course of time the mode of investigation was changed, the Assam Police handed over the probe to National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to bring perpetrators to book.

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Eventually, the judgment day came and CBI Judge Aparesh Chakraverty delivered the verdict. The CBI special court hammered its pronouncement and rammed the NDFB chairman Ranjan Daimary and nine others behind the bar for lift time. Those were Rajen Goyary, Ajay Basumatary, Loko Basumatary, Khargeshwar Basumatary, Indira Brahma, B Tharai, Raju Sarkar and George Boro.

However,  Jayantati  Basumatary, Probhat Boro and Mathura Brahma shall be released after paying of fine as imposed by Court.

On October 3rd, 1996, Ranjan Daimari alias Nabla, a convent product of Shillong, formed NDFB  at Odla Khasibari in Udalguri . Initially NDFB was known as Bodoland Security Force.  Just after formation, NDFB launched its first surgical strike on headquarter of 7th APBN at Choraikhowa in Assam’s Kokrajhar district.

Anyway, after declaration of verdict, Bodo Womens Justice Forum (BWJF) chairperson Anjali Daimay accepted the judgment as expected. Narrating the mode of judgment burst into emotion and lambasting  that they belong to Bodo community and hence government made it hurry to push them behind the bars, where the leaders of other militant organization are still roaming under open sky.

She did not name any outfits but it was understood whom she was intending to mean. Reacting to her outburst,  the banned outfit organization United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) Commander-in-Chief Paresh Baruah to TIME8 personally that we need to have patience to listen Anjali as she was emotionally charged because  the verdict against her brother Ranja Daimary. However, ULFA supremo admitted that the serial blasts was a wrong decision of NDFB. At the same time, he tendered his compassion for the blast and also expressed solidarity with those who had loss their near and dear in the blast site.

Bodos are the integral part of greater Assamese community – socially, ethnically and historically. Any kind of racial discrimination in such a delicate socio-political scenario of the state may divide Assam into different segments emotionally and geographically. Already main stream Assamese Chauvinism had divided the territory of undivided Assam into seven parts which consequently led the formation of Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Mizoram. On the other hand numerous autonomous councils in the state had already divided Assam in to racial pockets. Therefore, it was the need of the hour to stand in unison for the greater cause of the indigenous people of the region.

NDFB called for Assam bandh on January 31st, 2019 in protest against the imprisonment of Ranjan Daimari and several others. Interestingly after a long time NDFB was seen to be democratic and non-violent.  However, the concept of divide Assam 50:50 rebuked by Ranjan Daimari on his way to jail prophesied the future political unrest in Assam.

Significantly, Peoples Joint Action Committee for Bodoland (PJACB) was not happy with the pronouncement of judgment, saying it to be biased and partial. Deputy convener Gorjon Mushahary indicated that this imprisonment may unexpectedly derail the ongoing peace process.  In last few years rate of armed violence carried out by the militant outfits reduced drastically, it was possible because of the initiative of militant outfits as well as for Government of India. All such peace effort will go in vain if Bodo organizations demands for divide Assam 50:50. Role of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) chief Hagrama Mohilary and pro-talk NDFB leader Gobinda Basumotary will be significant for future peace talk process.

The views expressed by the author are personal and may not in any way represent those of TIME8.