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Hagrama will be jailed for encouraging Batha’s extremism: Himanta Biswa Sarma

KOKRAJHAR: Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has slammed former Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) chief Hagrama Mohilary for ‘encouraging’ insurgent M Batha to return to a life of extremism in the jungles after losing the elections.

“If he (Hagrama) does extremism with Batha, he is going straight to jail. Already there is a lot of evidence. We will ask the NIA to investigate the recovery of arms in Kokrajhar,” he said on the sidelines of an election rally in Udalguri district against the backdrop of the resurgence of insurgency.

Saying that he is “not afraid” of either Batha or Hagrama, Sarma said that violence will not be encouraged in the BTR again. “There will be no bombings and there will be no guns in the BTR. Let me clarify that.”

Asked whether Batha truly has returned to the jungle, Sarma, linking Hagrama to the insurgent once again, said: “The NIA will enquire everything and things will become clearer in the due course of time. Only someone who is having a rough time will encourage such acts after losing an election.”

At one point, Biswa Sarma became visibly irate at scribes upon being asked about the former BTC chief and lashed out.

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“Why do you (media persons) keep relaying his statements? He could not even hang on to his own seat in the Council. Why not ask me about the sitting BTC chief Pramod Boro instead?”, he added.

Meanwhile, Mohilary has said that he is being ‘persecuted’ by the Minister and cannot even go to his own house.

“I have effectively been on the run. I cannot even go to my own house out of fear of being locked up,” Mohilary said during a rally at Paneri yesterday.

“If he can, he will put me inside jail today itself. If he can have me jailed, they will win the elections. Therefore, I have been on the run as I cannot even enter my house out of fear of being arrested,” he said.

After reports of Batha’s return to the jungles started surfacing in some sections of the media, a new militant outfit — National Liberation Front of Bodoland (NLFB) — has made its presence known.

It is suspected that the NLFB, which has urged people not to vote for the BJP in the ongoing polls, is fronted by Batha and around 30 of his trusted aides who are all armed with sophisticated weaponry.

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