Bodo Peace Accord fulfilled aspirations of Bodos, non-Bodos, says Sarma
Guwahati, Jan. 28 (PTI): The Bodo Peace Accord has fulfilled the aspirations of Bodos and non-Bodos living in the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) and reaffirmed the territorial integrity of Assam, state minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Tuesday.
Earlier when the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) was created with the signing of an accord in 2003, many non-Bodo villages had been included in it while several Bodo villages were left out of it.
The accord signed on Monday will set it right, Sarma, also the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor, told reporters here.
“For the first time, non-Bodos have the option to move out of the council while Bodo villages outside the council can be included,” he said.
A commission, headed by a neutral person and represented by stakeholders, will be constituted by the central government for the demarcation and reorganisation of the BTR, he said.
“There was a social conflict in the BTR due to political reasons but the accord has addressed the concerns of both Bodos and non-Bodos residing there and we are sure that this will usher in peace and development in the region,” he said.
The Bodo Peace Accord will be written in “golden words” in the history of Assam as the demand for a separate Bodoland ended with the signing of the accord yesterday,” he said.
The accord categorically mentions that it is a “final and comprehensive solution, keeping intact the territorial integrity of Assam.
“This is very significant for the state of Assam as we had earlier lost Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya but today due to the strong leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, all doubts regarding the further division of the state have been put to rest and hopes and aspirations of the Bodos given due respect,” Sarma said.
The BTC would be given maximum autonomy under the framework of the Constitution with the Centre and state government ready to transfer power to it.
Referring to the Bodos living in other districts outside the BTR, the minister said that Satellite Autonomous Councils would be set up and only Bodo villages will be included in it for their development and progress.
The accord has included a list of measures to be taken for the development and progress of the Bodos with complete autonomy, including the appointment of Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police in consultation with the Council.
Bodo language will be the Associate official language of the entire state while Assamese will be the official language.
The Accord is a historic development in the state and “this has been possible due to the mature leadership of the Bodo leaders and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s love for Assam.”
The signing of the Accord with the Bodos and Brus in Tripura has brought hope for peace and development in the northeastern region.
“We have invited the prime minister and Union home minister to visit Kokrajhar on February 7 to bless the signing of this historic Accord which will bring permanent peace in BTR,” Sarma said.
More than 1,500 cadres of all four factions of the NDFB, a signatory to the accord, will surrender with their arms and ammunition before Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on January 30, the minister added.