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National Democratic Front of Boroland

The National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) is an armed separatist outfit which seeks to obtain a sovereign Boroland for the Bodo people.[5] It is designated as a terrorist organisation by the Government of India.[6]

National Democratic Front of Boroland
Participant in Insurgency in Northeast India
National flag of Boroland used by NDFB
National flag of Boroland used by NDFB
Active3 October 1986 - present
IdeologyEthnic nationalism
Motive(s)Establishment of a sovereign Boroland
Group(s)National Council (Political Wing),
Boroland Army (Armed Wing)
FounderRanjan Daimary aka D.R. Nabla
PresidentB. Saoraigwra
Vice-President cum Army ChiefG. Bidai[3]
General SecretaryB.R. Ferrenga
Area of operationsAssam, India
Originated asBodo Security Force
Split toNDFB - D.R. Nabla Faction,
NDFB - Progressive Faction,
Opponent(s)Government of India
Government of Bhutan
Battles and war(s)Insurgency in Northeast India
Designated as a terrorist organisation by
Government of India[4]

NDFB traces its origin to Bodo Security Force, a militant group formed in 1986. The current name was adopted in 1994, after the group rejected Bodo Accord signed between the Government of India and ABSU-BPAC. The group has carried out several attacks in Assam, targeting non-Bodo civilians as well as the security forces. In particular, it has targeted Santhal, Munda and Oraon adivasis (tribals), whose ancestors had been brought to Assam as tea labourers during British Raj. Its involvement in attacks on Adivasis during Bodo-Adivasi ethnic clash during the 1996 Assam Legislative Assembly elections led to the formation of Adivasi Cobra Force, a rival militant group. After 1996, NDFB was also involved in conflicts with the militant group Bodo Liberation Tigers Force (which surrendered in 2003). Since 2000, NDFB has increasingly targeted Bangladeshi migrants in what it claims to be the Boro territory.

During the 1990s, NDFB established 12 camps on the Bhutan-Assam border. After suffering major reverses during Royal Bhutan Army's Operation All Clear, NDFB signed a ceasefire with the Indian authorities in May 2005.

This was followed by a split in the group: NDFB(P), the progressive faction supported peace talks with the government, while the faction led by Nabla opposed the talks. In 2012, following the arrest of their chairman, NDFB of Nabla faction split further, leading to the formation of another new faction, which was led by a non-Bodo I K Songbijit as an interim president of the interim council. This faction continued to indulge in militancy, and has been blamed by the government for May and December 2014 attacks.

The general assembly of the outfit held on 14 and 15 April 2015 has vowed to revamp their national struggle and declared that the former interim national council of NDFB led by Songbijit is dissolved and a new national council was formed to fight for the liberation of sovereign, independent Boroland.[7]


The main grievances of the group are the under-development in the region and the influx of immigrants. It aims to address these issues by seceding from India, and establishing a sovereign Boroland.[8] The NDFB constitution, adopted on 10 March 1998, lists its objectives as the following:

  • Liberate Boroland from the Indian expansionism and occupation;
  • Free the Boro nation from the colonialist exploitation, oppression and domination;
  • Establish a Democratic Socialist Society to promote Liberty, Equality and Fraternity; and
  • Uphold the integrity and sovereignty of Boroland.

The promotion of the Roman script for the Bodo language is also a significant objective of NDFB and are against the use of Devanagari script for the language.[9]


The Bodos are an ethno-linguistic community native to the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam state of India. In the mid-1980s, Bodo politicians, alleging discrimination against Bodos in Assam, intensified their campaign for the creation of Bodo-majority Bodoland. While majority of the Bodos envisaged Bodoland as an autonomous territory or state within India, a small section demanded complete sovereignty. NDFB was formed by secessionist Bodos on 3 October 1986 as the Bodo Security Force (BdSF), under the leadership of Ranjan Daimary, in Odla Khasibari village (near Udalguri). BdSF carried out several violent attacks against non-Bodo civilians. On 12 December 1992, it attacked the 7th Assam Police Battalion headquarters at Choraikhola in Kokrajahar District, and decamped with 160 self-loading Rifles(SLR) and 5 Light Machine Guns(LMG).[10]

The Bodoland movement was mainly led by the political organisations All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) and Bodo Peoples' Action Committee (BPAC). In 1993, these two groups signed the Bodo Accord with Indian government, agreeing to the formation of Bodoland Autonomous Council within Assam. BdSF opposed this Accord.[11] Shortly after the Accord, the Assam State Government refused to hand over 2,750 villages to the proposed Council, arguing that Bodos formed less than 50% of the population in these villages.[12] Following this, the BdSF was renamed to National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) on 25 November 1994.[13] The NDFB then launched an ethnic cleansing campaign, attacking non-Bodo communities in these villages. During the 1996 Assam Legislative Assembly elections, it killed hundreds of Santhal, Munda and Oraon adivasis (tribals), whose ancestors had been brought to Assam as tea labourers during British Raj. In response, the tribals formed Adivasi Cobra Force, their own militant group.[12]

In the mid-1990s, NDFB also faced a rival within the Bodo community, in form of Bodo Liberation Tigers Force (BLTF). The BLTF had evolved from an older militant group called the Bodo Volunteer Force. It considered NDFB's secessionist agenda unrealistic and unattainable, and focused on establishment of an autonomous Bodo territory within India. After 1996, the two groups clashed violently for supremacy. BLTF allied with Bengali Tiger Force to protect Bengalis from NDFB attacks, and also supported Indian security forces against NDFB.[12] The conflicts between Christian-dominated NDFB and Hindu-dominated BLTF polarised the Bodoland movement along religious lines.[14] In 2003, BLTF surrendered en masse in return for the establishment of the Bodoland Territorial Council.[15]

NDFB had established 12 camps on the Bhutan-Assam border. During 2003-2004, the Royal Bhutan Army destroyed these camps as part of its Operation All Clear.[12] NDFB chief Ranjan Daimary was offered amnesty by the Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in December 2003, but rejected the offer. On 8 October 2004, the NDFB announced a 6-month long unilateral ceasefire, that came into effect on 15 October. However, the Government continued its operations against the group. On 15 April 2005, NDFB extended the ceasefire. The Government released its general secretary Govinda Basumatary to open a channel of communication with the organisation's Bangladesh-based leadership. This resulted in a ceasefire agreement between NDFB and the Government on 25 May 2005. The agreement stated that the NDFB agree to cease hostile action against security forces and civilians. In return, the security forces would not carry out operations against the group's members. The agreement also stipulated that NDFB members would disarm and live in camps protected by the military for a year, and would refrain from assisting other militant groups.[16] The pact came into force on 1 June 2005. However, certain factions of NDFB continued militancy. In May 2006, five members of the security forces were abducted and killed by suspected NDFB members in Assam's Udalguri District. The group also continued to clash with cadres of the ex-BLTF (Bodo Liberation Tiger Force). On 5 June 2006, two former BLTF cadres were killed by NDFB militants in the Karbi Anglong District, and one former member of the disbanded group was lynched by suspected NDFB militants in Golaghat District on 3 June 2007.[16]

In 2008, the group split into two after Ranjan Daimary's name appeared in the 2008 Assam bombings case. NDFB(P), the pro-talks factions led by B Sungthagra supported peace talks with the governments. NDFB(R), led by Daimary, refused to give up militancy.[17] In December 2008, the NDFB(P) indicated its plans to indirectly or directly participate the Lok Sabha elections.[13] In 2012, I K Songbijit, the chief of the NDFB(R) faction's "Boroland Army", announced the formation of a nine-member "interim national council", resulting in a split.[13] NDFB(S), the faction led by Songibijit, is now the most dreaded faction.[18]


After the Operation All Clear in 2003 the then united NDFB decided to go for ceasefire and talk to resolve the political issue in the year 2004. The proposal was submitted in 2008 and there was a meeting of the joint military council in Manipur. The secretary in the ministry of development of north east region, Naveen Verma, told the general secretary of the outfit that they must amend their proposition instead of negotiation at table or in other words they were forced to revise it, amend it and write a new memorandum.

There would have been no talks and extension of ceasefire unless the proposition was revised and amended which was submitted by the faction now known as National Democratic Front of Boroland - Progressive and the faction led by Ranjan Daimary who rejected it was then known as the Anti-Talks Faction, which further split into two factions.[19]


National Council MembersEdit

  • President : B. Saoraigwra
  • Vice-President : G. Bidai
  • General Secretary : B.R. Ferrenga
  • Home Secretary : D. Rebgon
  • Foreign Secretary : NE. Esara
  • Publicity Secretary : I. Sulung
  • Finance Secretary : B. Dwmwilu
  • Asst-Finance Secretary : B. Sohaithab
  • Organizing Secretary : BL. Dinga
  • Education Secretary : B. Sujugiri
  • Cultural Secretary : B. Belarwm
  • Agriculture Secretary : B. Biban
  • Social Welfare Secretary : B. Dwithai

Joint SecretariesEdit

  • Public Relation Officer : B. Alayaron
  • Sport : M. Mwnabili
  • Education : W. Radab
  • Information and Publicity : M. Muluksha
  • Home : B. Sinaihang
  • Women Welfare : Miss. B. Rwmwi Rwmwi[20]



NDFB have a sizeable number of sophisticated weapons including AK-series rifles. Since they have camps in Myanmar across Arunachal Pradesh, they have easy access to the latest weapons.[21]


NDFB has carried out bombings, kidnappings and murders in Assam.[8] Due to arm conflict between NDFB and Adivasi Cobra Force, Many times NDFB attacked on Adivasi. The Assam Government has accused it of launching an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Oriya Adivasis and Bengali Muslim settlers in the region.[12][22]

The group primarily operates in the region to the north and north-west of the Brahmaputra river. It is active in the Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Darrang, Barpeta, Dhubri, Nalbari and Sonitpur Districts of Assam. It has also been active in the Garo Hills region of Meghalaya.[13] It has used the neighbouring Bhutan as a refuge, crossing the border in the Manas National Park area. In December 2003, the Royal Bhutan Army initiated a crackdown on the group's activities in Bhutan.[23]

Between 1992 and 2001, the violence involving NDFB resulted in the deaths of 167 security forces personnel and over 1200 civilians:[24]

Year Civilians killed by NDFB Security Forces Personnel killed by NDFB NDFB militants killed by the Security Forces
1992 37 10 1
1993 25 6 6
1994 108 22 6
1995 132 16 7
1996 176 25 15
1997 137 25 31
1998 305 22 37
1999 113 14 50
2000 95 20 109
2001 134 7 113

Attacks attributed to NDFBEdit

The attacks attributed to the NDFB include (SATP[25]). Some incident don't have evidence but NDFB is believed to be involved.

Date Place Incident Reference
1 May 1998 Anjora NDFB militants kill 5 Adivasis (tribals) [11]
2 May 1998 Deoshree, Kokrajhar District NDFB militants drag 44 Adivasis out of a bus, kill one of them and torture the other 3 SATP
3 May 1998 near Bishmuri point on NH-31, Kokrajhar District NDFB militants drag Adivasis out of a bus, and kill 98 of them; four others injured SATP
9 May 1998 Borbil, near Gosaigaon NDFB militants kill 16 Santhals Adivasis, including 10 women and two children; 12 others injured
17 June 1998 Kokrajhar District NDFB militants kill four Adivasis SATP
15 September 1998 Gossaigaon subdivision, Kokrajhar District NDFB militants kill 14 Santhals SATP
31 July 2000 Soonmari NDFB militants blow up two bogies of a Rangia-bound passenger train, killing 14 passengers SATP
1 August 2000 near Tezpur NDFB militants explode a bomb on a passenger train, killing 12 people SATP
21 August 2000 Dhubri NDFB militants kill 5 Muslim civilians SATP
19 August 2000 Guwahati NDFB kills Bineshwar Brahma, branding him an agent of the BJP-led Central government. Brahma was opposed to the adoption of the Roman script for the Bodo language, which had invited the ire of NDFB. [26]
21 August 2000 Garagaon NDFB militants kill the Bodo MLA Mohini Basumatary of the People's Democratic Front [27]
8 November 2000 Barpeta District Suspected NDFB militants kill 8 civilians, including 7 non-Assamese people [11]
26 November 2000 Lung Sung forest reserve NDFB kills 8 woodcutters who refused to obey their order to stop logging in Bodo areas SATP
3 January 2001 Assam NDFB militants kill woodcutters [11]
31 July 2001 Soonmari NDFB militants detonate a bomb on a Rangiya-bound passenger train, killing 14 [11]
1 August 2001 near Rangia NDFB militants detonate a bomb on the Arunachal Express between Rangia and Goreswar stations, killing 12 and injuring 8. Two NDFB militants suspected to be involved in the blast were killed in a police encounter near Goreswar. [28]
25 September 2001 Baghmari, Bongaigaon District NDFB bomb blast derails the North East Express, injuring 100 people SATP
25 October 2001 Gauripur NDFB militants detonate an explosive at a Hindu celebration, killing 3 and injuring 12 [11]
7 December 2001 Assam Opposed to logging in the region, NDFB militants kill 4 woodcutters in two separate incidents [11]
2 June 2002 Bongshijhora village, Dhburi District NDFB militants kill 3 members of a family [11]
14 July 2003 Kokrajhar District NDFB militants kill 3 people in separate incidents [11]
24 November 2003 Khanglabari, Darrang District NDFB militants kill 3 Biharis, and injure 9 others [11]
8 July 2010 Gossaigaon, Kokrajhar District NDFB militants blast railway tracks, resulting in derailment of the Kolkata-bound Garib Rath Express. A six-year-old child Durlav Sethia was killed, and 23 others were injured. The NDFB stated that the attack was a revenge for the mistreatment of its arrested leader Ranjan Daimary and the killing of "innocent Bodo youths" by the security forces. [29]
14 July 2002 West Maligaon forest village relief camps, Kokrajhar District Sspected NDFB militants kill 9 Adivasis, injure 5 others SATP
17 August 2002 near Sarbhog, Barpeta District NDFB militants kill a school teacher SATP
21 August 2002 Maladhara, Goalpara District NDFB militants kill four police personnel and a civilian driver, injure 17 more SATP
23 October 2002 Deosankar Reserve Forest, Dhubri district NDFB militants fire on a group of two woodcutters, killing two
27 October 2002 Datgiri village, Kokrahjar District NDFB militants kill 22 civilians SATP
29 August 2010 Gamani, near Bhalukpong NDFB militants kidnap two goods train drivers Nirmal Chandra Borgohain and Abhijit Siring Phukan, demand 1 crore (10 million) as ransom [30]
26 April 2003 Taijouguri village, Kokrajhar District Suspected NDFB militants kill 4 members (including two children) of the family of a former colleague SATP
18 July 2003 Dwimguri village, Kokrajhar District NDFB militants kill 4 persons they suspect to be government informers SATP
2 October 2004 Makrijhora, Dhubri District NDFB militants open indiscriminate firing at a busy market, killing 16 people and injuring 20 others SATP
4 October 2004 Gelapukhuri village, Sonitpur District NDFB militants kill six civilians, injure 7 others SATP
5 October 2004 Jalabila village, Dhubri District Suspected NDFB militants shoot dead 10 civilians, injure 7 others SATP
1 December 2004 Lutubari, West Garo Hills, Meghalaya NDFB militants kill 5 villagers and injure another SATP
21 May 2007 Udalguri District NDFB cadres abduct five security force personnel and a civilian. The civilian Babul Kalita was found dead on 22 May. The other five were found dead in the Belsiri Nala (West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh) on 29 May. SATP
16 March 2008 Dhaolabari Ashuline, near Kokrajhar NDFB militants shoot dead Bigrai Basumatary alias Belaibe, the secretary of the surrendered NDFB Welfare Association SATP
30 October 2008 Guwahati and neighbouring areas 2008 Assam bombings: NDFB cadres were suspected to have executed the attacks planned by ULFA and other groups. SATP
30 June 2009 Naharani Grant village, Sontipur District NDFB militants shoot dead four persons of a family: Munna Pal (30), his wife Subhapati Pal (35), his younger brother Tunna Pal (30) and his son Pankaj Pal (3) SATP
4 October 2009 Bhimajuli NDFB-ATF kills 12 people in Bhimajuli Massacre [31]
8–9 November 2010 Assam NDFB-ATF militants kill 22 people in separate attacks. On 8 November, the militants killed 19 people, including 13 Hindi speakers. Several others were injured, one of whom died the next day. The next day, they killed two Hindi-speaking Muslims in Ultapani, Kokrajhar District, and a cycle mechanic Paran Mandal in Chirang District. Earlier on 1 November, the NDFB had threatened to kill 20 or more people for every NDFB cadre killed by Security Forces. SATP,[32]
14 March 2011 Between Bangladoba (Chirang District) and Ultapani (Kokrajhar District) The militants of the Ranjan Daimary-led faction ambush patrolling troop of BSF, killing 8 jawans. [33]
13 August 2012 Chirang District NDFB-RD militants shoot dead a Muslim labourer, and injure three others. The four victims were natives of West Bengal, and were returning from Bhutan. SATP
13 November 2012 Harishinga, Sonitpur District NDFB-RD militants kill a tea planter Adilur Rahman, and injure his bodyguard Motilal Tirkey SATP
27 January 2014 Mauriapur village, Sonitpur District NDFB-S militants ambush a police convoy, killing ASP Gulzar Hussain and injuring 5 other policemen. The police convoy was returning from a night-long operation against the group. SATP
May 2014 Kokrajhar and Baksa Districts May 2014 Assam violence: 32 Muslims were killed in a series of attacks. The government blamed NDFB-Songbijit faction for the attacks. The NDFB denied any involvement in the killings, and stated that the government agencies were behind the attacks. [34]
August 2014 Chirang district A 16-year-old girl was dragged, beaten and shot at point blank range at least nine times in front of her parents [35]
December 2014 Sontipur and Kokrajhar districts December 2014 Assam violence: NDFB militants killed over 65 Adivasis. According to police, this was in response to the intensified operation by the security forces. [36]
August 2016 Assam 2016 Kokrajhar shooting: A group of militants opened fire at a market in Balajan Tiniali, near the town of Kokrajhar in Assam, India.Fourteen people were killed and sixteen were injured as a result of the attack. NDFB(S) is believed to be involved in this case. [37]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Danger In North East: Christian Terror On One Side, Islamist On The Other". Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Catch me if you can: Bidai". Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "NDFB(S) eyes Bodoland sovereignty". 14 September 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Banned Organisations". Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  7. ^ "NDFB-S forms new council - Times of India". Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  8. ^ a b Andrew T .H. Tan (18 October 2010). Politics of Terrorism: A Survey. Routledge. p. 190. ISBN 978-1-136-83336-6.
  9. ^ "National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)- Terrorist Group of Assam". Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  10. ^ E. N. Rammohan (2005). Simply Khaki. Indialog Publications. p. 181. ISBN 978-81-87981-78-7.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Barry M. Rubin; Judith Colp Rubin (2008). Chronologies of Modern Terrorism. M.E. Sharpe. pp. 151–169. ISBN 978-0-7656-2206-8.
  12. ^ a b c d e Subir Bhaumik (10 December 2009). Troubled Periphery: The Crisis of India's North East. SAGE Publications. pp. 125–130. ISBN 978-81-321-0479-7.
  13. ^ a b c d "National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)". SATP. 3 May 2014.
  14. ^ Vivek Chadha (23 March 2005). Low Intensity Conflicts in India: An Analysis. SAGE Publications. pp. 268–. ISBN 978-0-7619-3325-0.
  15. ^ Tom Lansford (2012). Political Handbook of the World 2012. CQ Press. p. 643. ISBN 978-1-60871-995-2.
  16. ^ a b Jane's Information Group (28 March 2008). Jane's World Insurgency and Terrorism. Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-2284-8.
  17. ^ "Bangladesh hands over NDFB chief Ranjan Daimary to BSF". The Times of India. 1 May 2010.
  18. ^ Samudra Gupta Kashyap (26 December 2014). "Karbi by birth, Songbijit is most dreaded Bodo militant, carries Rs 10 lakh on his head". Indian Express.
  19. ^ "Fountain Ink Magazine". Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  20. ^ "It's official - I K Songbijit is no more NDFB member". 26 June 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  21. ^ "Karbi by birth, Songbijit is most dreaded Bodo militant, carries Rs 10 lakh on his head". 26 December 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  22. ^ Wasbir Hussain (20 October 2008). "Power Cuts for the People". Outlook: 16.
  23. ^ Joginder Singh (2010). India, Democracy and Disappointments. Gyan Publishing House. p. 224. ISBN 978-81-212-1040-9.
  24. ^ "Casualties in Violence by National Democratic Front of Bodoland in Assam". SATP. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  25. ^ "Incidents and Statements involving NDFB: 1998-2012". South Asia Terrorism Portal. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  26. ^ Nitin Gogoi (17 January 2001). "Bodo group war to turn bloodier".
  27. ^ Barun Das Gupta (22 August 2000). "Assam MLA shot dead". The Hindu.
  28. ^ "12 killed in Assam train blast". The Tribune. Chandigarh. 2 August 2001.
  29. ^ Preetam B. Choudhary (8 July 2010). "NDFB blast on tracks kills boy: Outfit flashes muscle power - Anti-Talks faction derails Garib Rath". Indian Express.
  30. ^ "NDFB demands Rs 1 cr for release of goods train drivers". Zee News. 31 August 2010.
  31. ^ "Army deployed at Bhimajuli as massacre toll touches 12". The Times of India. 5 October 2009.
  32. ^ At least 19 people dead in militant attacks in NE India. BBC News. 8 November 2010.
  33. ^ "8 BSF jawans killed by Bodo militants in Assam". 15 March 2011.
  34. ^ Aaron Pereira (3 May 2014). "Assam live: 22 people arrested for helping militants". Firstpost.
  35. ^ "16-Year-Old Girl Dragged Out of Home, Shot 9 Times in Front of Parents". NDTV. 27 August 2014.
  36. ^ "Assam violence: Over 81 killed in Bodo attacks, at least 250 missing". Hindustan Times. 24 December 2014.
  37. ^ CNN, Omar Khan,. "Attackers kill 14 at Indian market". CNN. Retrieved 21 February 2018.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)