In bid to resolve Bodoland conflict, Centre signs peace accord with NDFB, ABSU; non-Bodo outfits announce 12-hour bandh in Assam

  • The government on Monday signed an accord with one of the dreaded insurgent groups of Assam, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), providing political and economic bonanza

  • The All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU), which has been spearheading a movement for a Bodoland state was also signatory to the accord

  • Meanwhile, a 12-hour Assam bandh was called by various non-Bodo organisations on Monday in protest against the Centre's move to sign a peace accord with different Bodo stakeholders

New Delhi: The government on Monday signed an accord with one of the dreaded insurgent groups of Assam, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), providing political and economic bonanza. The All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU), which has been spearheading a movement for a Bodoland state was also signatory to the accord.

The tripartite agreement was signed by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, the 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 in presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

"It is a historical accord," Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said and asserted that the pact will bring a comprehensive solution to the Bodo issue.

Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the Bodo Peace Accord will lead to a "full and final" solution to the decades-old Bodo issue."The BodoAccord shall reaffirm the territorial integrity of Assam and at the same time usher us into a new hope of peace and progress in Bodoland," Sarma, also the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor, added.

He also thanked all those who made the "historic" accord possible which, Sarma said, was signed with the "blessings" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and under the "leadership" of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Meanwhile, a 12-hour Assam bandh called by various non-Bodo organisations on Monday in protest against the Centre's move to sign a peace accord with different Bodo stakeholders has brought life to a standstill in the four districts under the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).

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

 In bid to resolve Bodoland conflict, Centre signs peace accord with NDFB, ABSU; non-Bodo outfits announce 12-hour bandh in Assam

The accord was signed by leaders of all the four
factions of the NDFB, ABSU chief Promod Boro, BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary, Sonowal and Sarma. Twitter/@himantabiswa

Apart from burning of tyres in some areas in Kokrajhar district, no major incident of violence has been reported so far, police said.

All educational institutions remained closed though some examinations scheduled in the colleges were held. Vehicles, including long-distance buses, remained off the roads and all shops and business establishments were shut.

Railway services remained unaffected so far with all major trains running on schedule, a Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) spokesperson told PTI.

The bandh has been called by various organisations including the All Koch Rajbongshi Students' Union (AKRSU), All Bodo Minority Students' Union (ABMSU), All Adivasi Students' Union, Oboro Suraksha Samiti, Kalita Janagoshti Students' Union among others.

The non-Bodo organisations are demanding that all non-Bodo stakeholders residing in the Bodoland Territorial Administrative Districts (BTAD) and the banned Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) should be included in the peace talks and made signatories to the accord that is likely to be signed on Monday.

The Centre held discussions with the Bodo stakeholders, including four factions of the NDFB, All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU) and the People's Joint Action Committee for Bodoland.

NDFB(R) chief Ranjan Daimary, sentenced to life imprisonment for his involvement in the 30 October 2008 serial bomb blasts, was granted interim bail for four weeks by a specially constituted Division Bench of the Gauhati High Court and taken to New Delhi on Saturday to take part in the peace talks.

Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said that the Centre has assured the state government that the areas under the BTAD will not be declared a Union Territory and no new areas will be added to it and that the state's territorial integrity will be maintained. Sonowal also left for New Delhi on Sunday evening to participate in the talks.

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Updated Date: Jan 27, 2020 15:46:12 IST