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Batha returned to jungles with 30 men & sophisticated weapons, confirms Assam Police

KOKRAJHAR: L R Bishnoi, the Inspector General of Police of the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD), today confirmed that National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) leader M Batha has returned to the jungles with 30 of his trusted aides and is trying to “revive” the rebellion for a separate state Bodoland.

“Batha returned to the jungles with around 30 of his men. We believe that they all have sophisticated weaponry with them. They are planning to revive the outfit, but I believe they will be nabbed soon,” Bishnoi said, responding to a query here.

“That they returned to the jungles without any specific reason proves that they do not have any specific ideology. They are trying to sow discord and pit people against each other. We shall not let them disturb the peace,” he further added.

After spending 25 years as an armed rebel, operating from the dense jungles of Myanmar and Bangladesh, M Batha returned to India in 2020 to take part in the peace talks.

ALSO READ: Assam DGP: Not only Batha, other ‘elements’ too planning a return to jungles

A native of Daloabari village in Kokrajhar district, Batha joined the rebel outfit in 1996 and underwent training in Bhutan. Batha was known as the bomb expert for his bomb-making and planting skills.

However, reports soon emerged that the rebel had returned to the jungles following the elections in the region, won by the BJP-UPPL-GSP combine.

Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, Assam’s Director General of Police (DGP), recently divulged to InsideNE that several ‘elements’ — apart from Batha — might have returned to the jungles to mount another insurrection.

Asked about reports of former rebel leader M Batha returning to the underground, DGP Mahanta said, “Not only Batha…there are several others who are mulling a return to the jungles, we have been informed. I cannot divulge all the information at this present moment.”

Ahead of the ensuing polls in Assam, a huge cache of arms and ammunition has been recovered in the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) region’s Kokrajhar.

The seized cache — including two AK-46 series rifles, two magazines, one revolver — was recovered from the Dighlipara area of Bismuri in the district.

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