Government on Friday reached a path breaking peace pact with a prominent insurgent group in Assam under which the Karbi Anglong hill district will get more power and a Rs. 350 crore special financial package.
Describing it as a “historic” moment, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said government is ready for dialogue with any group which shuns violence and puts its demands within the framework of the Indian Constitution.
“This is a historic moment....the Memorandum of Settlement will change the face of the Karbi Anglong district in all spheres,” he said in a statement.
Friday’s agreement, signed by the representatives of the Central and Assam governments and the United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS), here came at the end of two-year long peace negotiations.
Under the pact, the Karbi Anglong autonomus district council will get more power and the Centre promised a special financial package of Rs. 350 crore spread over five years.
The UPDS was spearheading a violent insurgent movement in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district since its formation in 1999 till May 23, 2002 when it entered into a cease-fire agreement with the government.
“Government has always shown its willingness to enter into a dialogue with any group that is willing to abjure the path of violence and place demands within the framework of the Constitution of India,” Mr. Chidambaram said after the signing of the peace pact.
Mr. Chidambaram also urged all groups in the country to give up violence and come forward to find a peaceful solutions to all their perceived problems.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who was also present on the occasion, said it was a significant moment for Assam, particularly for Karbi Anglong, as the pact would bring peace and development.
The Home Minister said negotiations with another Assam insurgent group Dima Halem Daouga was continuing and was near the final stage and the tripartite agreements with the outfit would be signed shortly.
“Talks with ULFA and NDFB (progressive) are also continuing. Recently, we have authorised (interlocutor) P C Halder to initiate the peace process and hold talks with NDFB (Ranjan Daimary) group,” he said.