Guwahati: In what is expected to boost peace and development in the North-East, the Central government on Monday signed a fresh Bodo accord with all the factions of one of the dreaded insurgent groups of Assam — National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), committing them more political power in addition to Rs 1,500 crore economic package.
The powerful 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 in presence of Union home minister Amit Shah and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
Asserting that tripartite agreement will not only fulfill political and economic demands of the Bodo people but also safeguard the Bodo language and culture, Shah told reporters, “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.”
He also said it would be permanent as it involves all stakeholders, unlike last time, when three groups were left out.
Pointing out that tripartite agreement has further strengthen the territorial integrity of Assam, Shah said that 1,550 cadres along with 130 weapons will surrender on January 30.
“They are not militants now, all are our brothers,” said Shah.
Of them, those who have a clean record will be made part of the paramilitary forces. The families of those who died in the Bodo movement will receive `5 lakh as compensation.
According to the agreement, the area called BTAD will be renamed as Bodoland Territorial Region and the Centre would expedite ‘hills tribe’ status to Bodo people living in the hill districts of Assam. The Bodo language, with Devnagri script, will become associate official language for entire Assam.
The agreement also involves a hefty financial package — the state government would give Rs 250 crore for 3 years to develop the area. The Centre will also add an equivalent amount, bringing the total to Rs 1,500 crore.
The funds would be used to set up industry and employment package and promote eco-tourism. Under the socio-cultural package, the government will set up a Central University in name of Upendranath Brahma and a national sports university.
The other projects will include a regional medical institute, hotel management campus, a Mother Dairy plant, a National Institute of Technology and more Navodaya Vidyalayas.