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Rebel leader Songbijit has returned to India; could participate in Assam polls: Report

GUWAHATI: I K Songbijit, the People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK) chief, has departed neighbouring country Myanmar amid speculations that he could play a pivotal role in the ensuing Assam Assembly elections.

This has prompted rumours that the rebel leader could contest the ensuing polls amid the ongoing peace talks with the government.

Songbijit, who once led the non-talks faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (or NDFB-S), reportedly left Myanmar on Monday evening in a ‘dramatic’ fashion.

According to reports, he entered India through the Longwa border point in nothern Nagaland’s Mon district. Songbijit’s entry to India was reportedly preceded by a discussion with a Minister from the Indian side, who has not been named.

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After the NDFB(S) was accused by the government of carrying out the May and December 2014 attacks against Muslim migrants and Adivasi Tea tribes respectively, resulting in deaths of over a hundred civilians, Songbijit was named as one of the ‘most wanted’ criminals of Assam. In January 2014, the Assam Police included him in the list of 15 most wanted criminals, and declared a cash reward of ₹ 1 million for information leading to his arrest.

In 2015, Songbijit was deposed as the NDFB President, following differences between him and other top leaders.

Last year in January, all the NDFB factions signed a peace treaty with the government, effectively ending the secessionist movement for a separate state Bodoland.

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