The former Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi dismissed the Bodo Peace Accord, signed a few days ago by the Centre and various ethnic groups, terming it as "cosmetic". He further added that the state of Assam has been burning since the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was introduced by the Centre and said protests in the state have been on the rise. Gogoi blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for the ongoing unrest in Assam.
Speaking to the media on Saturday, February 8, Gogoi said, "PM Modi wants to give the impression that there will be peace in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) area after the signing of the Bodo Peace Accord. However, everyone knows that peace and development had started in the region when we signed the agreement with the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) in 2003. Modi is indirectly blaming the previous governments for the chaotic situation in the area."
Stating that the new accord is a "cosmetic" arrangement, Gogoi further said: "We also want peace and development in the region along with the preservation of language and culture and generation of employment, but most of the people there are non-Bodo people. If they are deprived, their grievances are not given importance and they are ignored, how would peace prevail in the region?"
Blaming PM Modi and HM Shah for the rising unrest in connection with CAA, Gogoi said, "It is dangerous for the people's identity and the culture of Assam, and it also violates the Assam Accord”.
The former CM of Assam said that PM Modi is not giving importance to the demands and sentiments of the people of Assam, and stated that "peace can be achieved through action, not speeches". "We are not foolish, we understand your (government's) so-called sympathy towards the state. These are just crocodile tears. We are not expecting much from this accord," he added.
The central government, on January 27 signed an agreement with the representatives of all the ethnic groups who are a part of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) in New Delhi. This comes after the Bodo groups have been demanding a separate state of Bodoland for the last 50 years. The movement has led to the loss of hundreds of lives and extensive violence over the years.
The union government failed to restore peace in the northeastern states in 1993. They formed a Bodoland Autonomous Council to stop the violence by various militant groups. In 2003, again an extensive agreement was worked out with Bodo Liberation Tigers. This led to the creation of the Bodoland Territorial Council and Bodoland Territorial Area Districts with four districts.
(With ANI Inputs)
Former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi labels Bodo Peace Accord as "cosmetic"