A tripartite agreement among five insurgent groups of Assam, the Centre and the State government was signed on Saturday to end years of violence in the Karbi Anglong region.
The insurgent groups which signed the peace accord include Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front, People's Democratic Council of Karbi Longri, United People's Liberation Army and Karbi People's Liberation Tigers factions.
Under the peace accord, more than 1,000 armed cadres have abjured violence and joined the mainstream. The agreement provides for their rehabilitation.
The Centre will make available a special development package of ₹1,000 crore over the next five years, for the Assam government to undertake specific projects for the development of Karbi areas.
The memorandum of settlement would ensure greater devolution of autonomy to the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC), protection of identity, language and culture of the Karbi people and focused development of the Council area, without affecting the territorial and administrative integrity of Assam, said the government.
Under the agreement, the Assam government will set up a Karbi Welfare Council for focused development of Karbi people living outside the KAAC area. The consolidated fund of the State will be augmented to supplement the resources of KAAC. “Overall, the present settlement proposes to give more legislative, executive, administrative and financial powers to KAAC,” it said.
The Union Home Minister said the historic Karbi Anglong agreement would promote peace and prosperity in Assam. He said Northeast had not only been an area of focus for Prime Minister Narendra Modi since day one, but an all-round development of the region had always been top priority of the government under his leadership.
“It is the policy of the Modi government that those who shun violence are brought into the mainstream and we talk to them even more politely and give them more than their demands... due to this policy only, we are getting rid of old problems one by one that the Modi government had inherited,” he said.
Mr. Shah assured the stakeholders that the government would fulfil all the clauses of agreements signed during its tenure. “This has been Modi Government’s track record,” he said.
The State government would consider favourably the proposal to notify Karbi as the official language of KAAC, said Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. English, Hindi and Assamese would continue to be used for official purposes. Under the agreement, the hill tribes would be entitled to reservation.
Former Chief Minister and Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Minister of AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal and Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanad Rai were also present of the occasion.
Among the participants were Chief Executive Member of KAAC Tuliram Ronghang and representatives of Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front, People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri, United People’s Liberation Army and Karbi People’s Liberation Tigers factions along with senior officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Assam government.
(With inputs from PTI)