In a landmark achievement, Government of India on Monday, January 27, signed a tripartite agreement with members of all factions of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU), in the presence of Home Minister Amit Shah at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) headquarters in Delhi.
Home Minister Amit Shah on agreement with National Democratic Front of Bodoland factions: 1550 cadres along with 130 weapons will surrender on 30th January. As the Home Minister, I want to assure all representatives that all promises will be fulfilled in a time-bound manner. pic.twitter.com/PNDGYFdyYZ— ANI (@ANI) January 27, 2020
The NDFB, regarded as one of the most dreaded insurgent groups of Assam, made headlines earlier on Monday when they signed an accord with the Central Government as well as other splinter groups. The move is expected to bring political stability and economic windfall to the Northeast that has for decades faced the brunt of terrorism.
ABSU, which has been spearheading the movement for a separate Bodoland State also reportedly signed the accord. Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal were present as the Centre signed the agreement with representatives of the banned organisations.
Speaking after the historic event, Amit Shah said, 'The agreement is in line with PM Shri Narendra Modi vision for the progress of the North East and empowerment of the people of the region' he further added that a golden future awaits Assam.
Ushering in a new dawn of peace, harmony and togetherness!— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 27, 2020
Today is a very special day for India.
The Accord with Bodo groups, which has been inked today will lead to transformative results for the Bodo people. pic.twitter.com/Y0QYlWvYqU
Notably, this is in fact, the third Bodo Accord signed in the last 27 years, the first being signed in 1993 and 2003 with different requirements and clauses mentioned in the agreement.
The Accord effectively calls for the surrender of 1,550 terrorists along with 130 weapons on January 30. Among the 1,500 people, those with a clean record will be formally inducted into various different paramilitary forces. A compensation of Rs 5,00,000 will be given to families of those who died in the Bodo movement.
The agreement also included clauses of incorporating Bodo as as "associate" official language in Assam. In addition to this, both the State as well as the Central governments will be allocating a whopping Rs 1,500 crore for the development of the region. Another new feature mentioned is the Centre's resolve to expedite 'Hills tribe' status to Bodo people living in the State's hill districts.
1960s: Bodoland organisations and tribes sparked nationwide controversies when they carried out rallies voicing their demands for a separate Statehood. They called it 'Udayachal'. The stir intensified after they were called 'immigrants' and accused of illegally encroaching on lands in the region.
1980s: Splinter groups and factions become more organised, classify themselves under ABSU, NDFB and Bodoland Liberation Tigers (BLT). Leaders such as Upendranath Brahma adopt a peaceful approach but the organisations grow impatient and resort to violence.
1993: First tripartite agreement signed leading to the formation of the Bodoland Autonomous Council (BAC).
2003: Second tripartite agreement signed between the Centre, the Assam government and the BLT, which led to the disbanding of BLT, an armed insurgent group in the region.
Violent attacks and clashes between Bodo people and Bengali-speaking Muslims kills over 100 people and renders as many as 4 lakh people homeless. After frequent terrorist attacks and heavy loss of life from both sides, both sides agreed to sit down for a third and final Bodoland Accord in 2019.