On the one hand, KLO chief Jibon Singha is warning Mamata Banerjee that the West Bengal Chief Minister should not set foot in Koch-Kamtapur. At the same time, his son-in-law claimed that Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was the only hope for freeing the KLO from ‘Bengal-centricity’ and restoring ‘independence’ by August 15. On the other hand, in Assam, under the direction of Pavel Koch, the KLO’s ‘foreign secretary’, shots were fired at a Bengali businessman in that state. All in all, the peace process with the KLO is becoming increasingly complex.
Assam Police claim that the organization’s self-proclaimed Foreign Secretary Parthapratim Barman alias Pavel Koch Namni has once again ordered sabotage in Assam, especially attacks on Bengalis. Police had earlier suspected that KLO was involved in the shooting of businessman Sunil Mandal by two motorbike riders at Serfanguri on Saturday night. After investigation, Police arrested six people including Pavel’s sister Navneeta Barman and her husband Bikash Bothra, Gaur Chandra Roy, Nirmal Das, Uttam Roy and Mridul Roy. According to police, Gaur’s brother Nitu Roy is a KLO member. Nitu shot Sunil at Pavel’s direction. The recording of an audio call related to that has also come into the hands of the police. According to police sources, Jibon Singha, who is in Myanmar, is willing to return to the mainstream but Pavel is causing a hindrance. Under his direction, KLOs are being activated again in Assam and North Bengal.
Divakar Devraj Singha, son of Jibon Singha, a mediator in the peace process, said that the arrested Nirmal made an attempt to disrupt the peace process. But there is no difference of opinion among Assam’s Coach leaders Dilip Narayan Dev, Biswajit Roy and him. Together they are trying to make the peace process a success by bringing Jibon Singha back into the mainstream.
But if Pavel orders violence in Assam, how will peace return?
“I have nothing to say about Pavel’s directive or the KLO’s internal military decision. I have only kept in touch with my father. He is the head of the organization, he is everything in the peace process,” Divakar said. Divakar claimed, “Jibon Singha is determined to form a ‘C-category’ state based on the ‘Merger’ Agreement before August 15 at any cost. In that case, no hindrances or interferences from the West Bengal government will be entertained. The Merger Agreement was with the Centre. Peace talks will also be with them.”
Meanwhile, KLO leader Jibon Singha said in a 6-minute video message sent to the Chief Minister on the eve of her visit to Alipurduar, “The West Bengal government cannot have any constitutional right over Koch-Kamtapur. The people of Kochbihar will form a greater Kamtapur state. So I am telling Mamata Banerjee, don’t set foot in Kamtapur. If the West Bengal government imposes its rights on Kamtapur, the consequences will be dire.” Jibon further said, “We have demanded from Union Minister John Barla and Nishith Pramanik and MLA Jayant Roy to form separate Koch Kamtapur state.”