Assam: NDFB-S cadres resorts to drug trade for financial security

Assam: NDFB-S cadres resorts to drug trade for financial security

GUWAHATI: Sources revealed that the rebel group National Democratic Front of Boroland-Songbijit (NDFB-S) are in desperate measures of having a balance of financial security after a series of regular counter-insurgency operations. These operations have all been successful in apprehending members of this militant group as well as to cut off their ration and supply of money. Thus, according to reports NDFB-S have resorted to drug smuggling in Assam.

According to security forces they claimed that a group of NDFB-S rebels, hiding somewhere along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border and near the state's international border with Bhutan, have started smuggling cannabis from the neighbouring country for quick and easy cash.

Two weeks ago, a drug racket in Boha village in West Kameng district was busted by a joint operation conducted by the Army, Sashastra Seema Bal and Arunachal Police and it was learnt that Bodo rebels were involved in the racket. However, though none of these militants were apprehended, 300 kilo of cannabis was seized from a hideout in the village.

Security forces said, "The operation broke the link between drug peddlers and rebel outfits like NDFB-S." Sources claimed that NDFB-S Chief G Bidai and his deputy K Batha, who are believed to be holed up somewhere in the jungles along the India-Bhutan border, have sought financial help from other militant outfits in Myanmar. NDFB-S Chief G Bidai has a bounty of Rs 5 lakh on his head.

Sources also added that they, "They have sent a distress call and asked other outfits in Myanmar to send them money. To earn some quick cash in the meanwhile, they have been trying to smuggle cannabis produced in Bhutan which is in high demand." Several areas near Boha are considered a safe haven for insurgent groups from lower Assam. They acquire cannabis cheaply from villagers and supply it outside the state at Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000 per kilo.

Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) IGP LR Bishnoi recently told the media, "NDFB-S is facing a shortage of ration in their camps. The rebels have no money to buy ration and other essentials and are using local youths, including girls, to carry out subversive activities," he said. Since the launch of the counter-insurgency operation following the adivasi massacre of 2014, at least 21 NDFB-S militants have been killed, 256 arrested and 185 linkmen apprehended.

(Agencies)

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