GUWAHATI: In what may be a major breakthrough on the insurgency front in the Northeast, the Ministry of Home Affairs is going to sign a peace accord with all factions of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and the powerful All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) on Monday in New Delhi.
Informing that the accord would be signed in the presence of Union home minister Amit Shah, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Bodoland Territorial Council chief Hagrama Mohiliary told Deccan Chronicle that the new accord will provide for some political rights to Bodo tribals living in Assam and an economic package for the community.
Stating that the Home Ministry has rejected the demand of a separate state or union territory for the Bodos, security sources said the leaderships of four different factions of NDFB would be signatories to the accord.
Admitting that they have given up their demand for a separate state, ABSU president Pramod Boro, who is in New Delhi, told Deccan Chronicle, “We have given up our demands in the larger interest of society. We took the lead to end the conflict that has been causing a huge loss to society.”
Addressing the accusations leveled at the Bodo leaders for giving up the demand for a separate state, Pramod Boro said, “We have lost many precious lives in the decades-old armed conflict in the Bodoland Territorial Council areas. Just to bring an end to bloodshed, we have chosen to give up many of our demands. We are getting nothing in this accord but peace and tranquillity in the Bodo areas.”
The NDFB chief Ranjan Daimary, who is serving a life term for involvement in the Guwahati serial bomb blasts case, was granted bail recently by a bench of the Gauhati High Court to facilitate his presence at the signing of the accord.
NDFB (S) leaders including its chairman B. Saoraigwra, general secretary B.R. Ferenga and senior members B. Batha and G Bidai are in Delhi to give final touches to the peace accord before the signing on Monday.
Officials made it clear that the territorial integrity of Assam would be maintained and the key demand of the NDFB, either a separate state or a union territory, was not going to be entertained.
The four factions of the NDFB which will sign the accord are led by Ranjan Daimari, Govinda Basumatary, Dhiren Boro and B. Saoraigra.
Some NDFB militants were among the 644 militants who surrendered in Guwahati on Thursday before Assam chief minister Sonowal.
Security sources said the status of the existing Bodoland Territorial Council would remain the same but the community would be given more political rights and representation in the proposed upper house of the state.
This will be the third Bodo accord to be signed in 27 years during which the violent movement claimed hundreds of lives, and destroyed public and private properties.
The demand for a separate state for the Bodos has been there in Assam for about five decades....