Guwahati, June 17, 2019:
Many innocent and gullible citizens from the North East, most of who are very poor, have been conned by various insurgent groups and used for menial jobs, instead.
Having promised good pay and perks by ULFA, these innocent people have been made to undertake hard labour and made to live amidst extremely hostile conditions.
This information came to light when three cadres of the outlawed National Democratic Front of Boroland- Songibijit (NDFB -S) were apprehended by Village Guards of Upper Dan in Tuensang District of Nagaland on June 11.
The trio had escaped from the NDFB militant camp in Myanmar and were found disoriented and in poor physical state at the time of their apprehension along the Indo-Myanmar Border.
They confessed that they were working as labourers in Bangalore since 2013. However, they were contacted by a middleman named Timitigiry in Bangalore, who lured them to join NDFB-S on June 11, 2018, asking them to fight for the Bodo cause and falsely promised good pay.
They were then taken to Assam and from there were made to cross over to Myanmar on foot via Longleng District of Nagaland. On reaching Taga Camp of the outfit in Myanmar, they were used as bonded labour and employed to cultivate poppy, rice, and vegetables. They were even forced to work in the coal mines owned in parts by the senior insurgent leaders.
The three cadres stated that they were not given any military or weapon training and were harassed by senior cadres. They lived a wretched life there with minimal food, no salary and only one pair of clothes to wear.
On asking for better conditions, the three were beaten up and tied to wooden posts.
Eventually, the three finally managed to flee when the Myanmar Army recently occupied Taga Camp. They then travelled along jungle trails eating whatever nature provided them with. They traced their journey back to India from Taga to Dan through Nampha, Nautun, Lahe, and Ponyu.
Physical and mental abuse of new recruits is not unusual among insurgent groups. This has become even more rampant with desperation setting in, especially amongst cadres of ULFA (I) and NDFB (S); consequent to the recent crackdown by Tatmadaw (Myanmar Army) that ensued loss of bases of these groups.