Guwahati: The government of India signed the historic Bodo Peace Accord with the government of Assam and Bodo stakeholders in New Delhi on Monday afternoon. Following this, 1,550 rebels along with 130 weapons will surrender on January 30, announced home minister Amit Shah.
The historic memorandum of settlement aims at bringing peace and stability in Assam without hindering the territorial integrity of the state.
The accord was signed in the presence of Union home minister Amit Shah, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary.
The signatories include Pramod Boro (president, ABSU), Lawrence Islary (general secretary, ABSU), Ranjan Daimary (NDFB), Gobinda Basumatary (NDFB), B Saoraigwra (NDFB-S), Dhiren Boro, Mihineswar Basumatary, president of UBPO; Assam chief secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna and home affairs joint secretary Satyendra Garg.
Here’s what the MoS means:
- Financial package of around Rs 1,500 crore announced, with Rs 250 crore earmarked by both the Centre and state each per annum for three years.
- A commission will be appointed to look into the inclusion of villages contiguous to BTAD having majority tribal population, and exclusion of villages which have majority non-tribal population.
- After the alteration in area, BTC can be expanded upto 60 seats.
- Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) renamed to Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR).
- BTC to have more legislative, executive, administrative and financial powers
- Joint Monitoring Committee to be appointed to monitor the implementation of the MoS
For Bodos outside BTAD
- Bodo-Kachari welfare council to be set up
- Advisory committee comprising representatives of Assam government, BTC and Bodo-Kachari welfare council to identify developmental needs of Bodos outside BTAD
For identity, language and education
- Bodo language in Devanagri script made an official language of the state
- Establishment of separate directorate for Bodo medium schools in state
- Central university to be set up in the name of Upendranath Brahma
Settlement of NDFB faction
- All NDFB factions to surrender weapons and disband their outfits in one month’s time
- Rehabilitation measures to be undertaken including ex-gratia, government schemes, trade/vocational training and recruitment in appropriate government jobs
- Criminal cases registered against members of NDFB factions for non-heinous crimes to be withdrawn by the state government
- Criminal cases heinous in nature to be pursued as per law
Other initiatives by Centre and state
- Several educational institutions to be set up, both central and regional
- Industry and development packaged announced
- Special industrial policy for BTAD and more
Why the accord?
This is the third Bodo accord to be signed in the last 27 years after violent movement for a separate Bodoland state claimed hundreds of lives, destruction of public and private properties in Assam.
Starting from 1966-67, the Bodos have been fighting for the creation of a separate state called Bodoland.
The first Bodo accord was signed with ABSU in 1993, leading to the creation of a Bodoland Autonomous Council with limited political powers. The second one was signed in 2003 with militant outfit Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT), leading to the formation of a Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) with four districts of Assam — Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang and Udalguri. The demand for a separate state for the Bodos has been going on in Assam for about five decades and is one of the oldest in the country.