NEW DELHI :
The Union home ministry on Monday signed a tripartite agreement with the banned National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and Assam government, bringing the state’s Bodo community closer to the mainstream.
As a part of the agreement, the Bodos will now get political and economic aid from the Centre, and Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) will be renamed Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR). The NDFB’s long standing demand of a separate state or a Union territory for Bodos stands unmet.
The accord, signed in the presence of Union home minister Amit Shah, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and representative of factions of the NDFB, will ensure that “territorial integrity" of Assam is maintained.
As insurgency peaked in the northeast, a group of Bodos formed the armed militia called the Bodo Security Force (BSF), later rechristened as National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB). The group’s sole aim was to establish a sovereign state for Bodos – the demand for which gathered further momentum after 2014, when Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were split into two states.
Amid talks of an agreement over the last few months, the NDFB signed an agreement with the Centre and Assam government to put down arms last week.
The latest pact makes it the third Bodo accord in last three decades since the movement for a separate Bodoland state began, claiming thousands of lives, since 1972.
The first Bodo accord was signed with the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) in 1993, leading to the creation of a Bodoland Autonomous Council (BAC) with limited political powers. The second accord was inked in 2003 with the rebel outfit Bodo Liberation Tigers which led to the creation of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in Assam.