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Govt Signs Accord to Resolve Bodo Issue; Modi Says ‘Special Day’

With the pact, the government provides political and economic bonanza sans a separate state or Union territory.

Updated
India
3 min read
With the pact, the government provides political and economic bonanza sans a separate state or Union territory.
i

The Ministry of Home Affairs signed an accord with Bodo insurgent group National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) in the presence of Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday, 27 January. With the pact, the government provides political and economic bonanza sans a separate state or Union territory, reported PTI.

The All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU), which has been spearheading a movement for a Bodoland state since 1972, and another group called United Bodo People's Organisation, were also signatories to the accord.

The tripartite agreement was signed by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, top leadership of the four factions of the NDFB, ABSU, Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry Satyendra Garg and Assam Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna.

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Ushering a New Dawn of Peace, Harmony and Togetherness: PM

Hailing the accord signed with Bodo groups, PM Narendra Modi said it would usher in a new dawn of peace, harmony and togetherness, and that those associated with armed resistance groups would now enter the mainstream and contribute to the nation's progress.

He said the accord will lead to transformative results for Bodos as it successfully brings together leading stakeholders under one framework and would help Bodo people get access to development-oriented initiatives.

‘Agreement Will Ensure a Golden Future’: Amit Shah

Home Minister Amit Shah described the agreement as “historic” and said that it will bring permanent solution to the decades-old problems of the Bodo people.

"This agreement will facilitate all-round development of the Bodo areas, their language and culture will be protected without compromising the territorial integrity of Assam," he said.

Shah said no stone would be left unturned for the development of Assam and the Northeastern region.

“Today the Centre, Assam Government and Bodo representatives have signed an important agreement. This agreement will ensure a golden future for Assam and for the Bodo people.”
Amit Shah

“1,550 cadres along with 130 weapons will surrender on 30 January. As the Home Minister, I want to assure all representatives that all promises will be fulfilled in a time-bound manner,” he added.

Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that after the pact, different communities in the state will be able to live with harmony.

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‘Existing Structure of BTC to be Strengthened’

All stakeholders of Bodo society have signed this agreement, reaffirming the territorial integrity of Assam, state minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

According to Sarma, an economic programme of Rs 1,500 crore will also be implemented in the next three years with equal contribution of Rs 750 crore each from the central and state governments.

The existing structure of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) will be strengthened with more powers and its seats will be expanded from 40 to 60, he said.

A commission will be set up for inclusion of Bodo-dominated villages in the BTC and exclusion of those where Bodos are not in majority.

The name of the BTC will be changed to Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR).

Non-Bodo Outfits Observe 12-Hour Bandh in Assam

Meanwhile, a 12-hour Assam bandh had been called by various non-Bodo organisations on Monday in protest against the Centre’s move to sign the peace accord with different Bodo stakeholders. The bandh brought life to a standstill in the four districts under the BTC.

Official sources told PTI that normal life had been affected in Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang and Udalguri districts but the bandh did not have any impact in other areas of the state.

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Third Bodo Accord in 27 Years

This was the third Bodo accord to be signed in the last 27 years. The movement for a separate Bodoland state has witnessed violent clashes, claiming hundreds of lives, and witnessing the destruction of public and private properties.

The BTC currently has control over 30 subjects like education, forests and horticulture, but no jurisdiction over the police, revenue and general administration departments, which are controlled by the Assam government.

The demand for a separate state for the Bodos has been going on in Assam for close to five decades, with several Bodo overground and militant groups having raised it, leading to recurring agitations, protests and violence.

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