Guwahati: The Centre is all set to sign an accord with all factions of banned Assam-based rebel group National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) on Monday giving political and economic provisions to the Bodos.
The tripartite agreement will be signed in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in New Delhi on Monday. The tripartite agreement to be signed by top leadership of the four factions of the NDFB, All Bodo Student Union (ABSU), Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry Satyendra Garg and Assam Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna.
In his speech on the occasion of Republic day celebration in Kokrajhar, Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) Chief Hagrama Mohilary said, “I welcome the scheduling of Bodo accord with NDFB and ABSU on Monday. I hope that the accord will be bringing more development and welfare in the region.”
“ABSU’s demand was separate Bodoland. Now they are coming to signing the agreement with NDFB. It is good sign. When I declared that Centre is not going to divide Assam anymore, then ABSU strongly criticized me and appealed the Bodo people to boycott me,” Mohilary added in his speech.
Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is also convener of the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), said no new village or area would be added to the BTAD under the new accord. He clarified on Saturday in Guwahati that the Centre would not upgrade the state’s ‘Bodoland Territorial Area Districts’ (BTAD) to a Union Territory, as part of a new peace accord likely to be inked between various stakeholders and the Centre.
“The Centre has informed the state government that no Union Territory will be created or new areas be added to the BTAD, but the accord will ensure that the territorial integrity of Assam is maintained,” Sarma added.
Naba Kumar Saraniya, Lok Sabha MP from Kokrajhar constituency said, “There is apprehension among the non-Bodo population and before the finalization of Accord the government must consult the non-Bodo people for lasting peace in the area.”
It will be the third Bodo accord to be signed in last 27 years since the violent movement for a separate Bodoland state began. It has claimed thousands of lives, and caused the destruction of public and private properties.
The first Bodo accord was signed with the ABSU in 1993, leading to creation of a Bodoland Autonomous Council (BAC) with limited political powers. In 2003, the second Bodo accord was signed with the rebel outfit Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT), leading to formation of a Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) with four districts of Assam (Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baska and Udalguri); called the BTAD.
On Thursday, all central committee members of B Saoraigwra-led NDFB (S), including the wanted rebel leader G Bidai, reached national capital for negotiations with the Centre. As well as NDFB-S leadership reached New Delhi, all central committee leadership of Gobinda Basumatary lead NDFB (Progressive), Dhiren Boro lead NDFB (Dhiren) and Ranjan Daimary alias DR Nabla lead NDFB (Ranjan) are camping in the national capital for signing the agreement.
Meanwhile, ABSU president Pramod Boro said, “We are eagerly waiting for signing the agreement, which bring the peace and more development in our areas. Let’s see.” ABSU president Boro and his co-member team are camping in New Delhi since couple of days.
The NDFB(S) had, on January 16, signed a tripartite agreement, over suspension of operations, with the central and state governments. As per the agreement, the NDFB(S) will give up violence and join peace talks with the government.
Over 50 active members of NDFB(S), including its President B Saoraigwra, returned from Myanmar on January 11 to join the peace process. Later, two other top leaders of the outfit, G Bidai and B Batha also expressed their desire to join the process and reached Kokrajhar on January 22 along with 6oo hundred cadres.