The government on Monday signed an accord with the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), a banned militant group in Assam.
The agreement was signed by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, the four factions of the NDFB, ABSU, and the Centre in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU), which has been spearheading a movement for a Bodoland state, was also signatory to the accord.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah described it as a “historic agreement” and said the Bodo Accord usher in a new dawn of peace, progress and prosperity in the state of Assam.
“Around 1500 cadres of NDFB(P), NDFB(RD) and NDFB(S) will be rehabilitated by the Government of India and Government of Assam” the Home Minister said adding a Special Development Package of Rs. 1500 Crore would be given by the Centre to undertake specific projects for the development of Bodo areas.
Assam minister and the BJP’s key strategist in the northeast said the Bodo Accord will reaffirm the territorial integrity of Assam while ushering the state into a new hope of peace and progress in Bodoland.
Lauding the move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the accord will lead to transformative results for the Bodo people.
“Those who were previously associated with armed resistance groups will now be entering the mainstream and contributing to our nation’s progress,” the PM added
Meanwhile Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal took to Twitter to express his gratitude to the Home Minister for his efforts and PM Modi’s vision for the Northeast that has made the “historic accord” possible.
Earlier in the day, several non-Bodo organisations have called a 12-hour general strike in Assam to protest against the peace accord.
Today’s accord is the third Bodo Accord since the movement for a separate Bodoland state began in 1972.
The first Bodo accord was signed in 1993 with the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) which led to the creation of a Bodoland Autonomous Council (BAC) and the second accord was signed with the Bodo Liberation Tigers in 2003 leading to the creation of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).