Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File photo)

Accord with Bodo groups will end violence, bring peace to Assam: PM Modi

ANI | Updated: Jan 27, 2020 20:50 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 27 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the accord signed with Assam's Bodo groups will end violence pertaining to Bodoland and help those associated with armed struggle enter the mainstream. Modi stressed that his government is "committed to doing everything possible" to help the Bodo people realise their aspirations.
"The Accord with Bodo groups will further protect and popularise the unique culture of the Bodo people. They will get access to a wide range of development oriented initiatives. We are committed to doing everything possible to help the Bodo people realise their aspirations," the Prime Minister said in a tweet.
Earlier in the day, the government signed a tripartite agreement with representatives of all factions of the banned National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) at Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in New Delhi.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal were present during the signing of the agreement which was also attended by representatives of all factions of NDFB.
The Bodo groups have been demanding a separate state of Bodoland for the last 50 years. The movement has resulted in extensive violence and loss of hundreds of lives over the years.
The agreement, reached after extensive negotiations and discussions with the Bodo groups, is significant as it brings together various stakeholders in the Bodoland movement, including both the armed groups and civil society groups.
In another tweet, the Prime Minister said: "The Bodo Accord inked today stands out for many reasons. It successfully brings together the leading stakeholders under one framework. Those who were previously associated with armed resistance groups will now be entering the mainstream and contributing to our nation's progress."
Speaking on the occasion, Home Minister Amit Shah said, "Today, the Centre, the Assam government and the Bodo representatives have signed an important agreement. This agreement will ensure a golden future for Assam and for the Bodo people".
The Bodoland Territorial Council, All Bodo Students Union (ABSU), various factions of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) -- Gobindo Basumatary faction, Dhirendra Bodo faction, RanjanDaymari faction and Saoraigwra faction and the United Bodo Peoples Organization (UBPO) are party to the agreement with the Centre and the Assam government.
The agreement will bring the armed resistance groups like NDFB-Progressive, NDFB - Ranjan Daimary, NDFB-Saoraigwra and more than 1,500 of their armed fighters to the mainstream. A package of Rs. 1,500 crore over three years will be earmarked for the development of the Bodo region, an official statement said.
"The agreement will greatly improve the areas and powers of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), along with the protection of social, cultural and linguistic identities of Bodo community. The central government will also provide more legislative, executive, administrative and financial powers to BTC in respect of additional subjects such as rural electrification, non-conventional energy sources, solar energy, renewable energy and mini-hydel projects," it said.
The agreement will also cover the complete rehabilitation of the NDFB cadres as well as ensure the protection of land rights of tribals in the region. A commission will be appointed under Article 14 of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, with representatives from state government, ABSU and Bodoland Territorial Council, to look into issues related to population and area within Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD), it added.
In addition, a Bodo Kachari Welfare Council will be formed to look after the concerns of Bodos' living outside BTAD. The Assam government will notify Bodo language as the associate official language in the state and will set up a separate directorate for Bodo medium schools. A separate DIG post will also be created for BTAD region. a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each will be provided to those who were killed during the Bodoland movement.
In 1993, the Bodoland Autonomous Council was formed through an agreement with the Union government, but it could not stop the violence initiated by various Bodo militant groups.
In 2003, an extensive agreement was worked out with Bodo Liberation Tigers, which led to the creation of Bodoland Territorial Council and Bodoland Territorial Area Districts with four districts. (ANI)