New Delhi, Sept 4 (UNI): A peace accord was signed between insurgent groups from Karbi Anglong district of Assam and the state government in the presence of Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday, bringing an end to the decades-old crisis.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal were present. Representatives from all insurgent outfits were there.
The home minister also said over 1,000 cadres of the insurgent groups surrendered their arms on Saturday as the peace accord was signed.
According to the Home Ministry, this Memorandum of Settlement will ensure greater devolution of autonomy to the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, protection of identity, language, and culture of Karbi people and is focussed development of the Council area, without affecting the territorial and administrative integrity of Assam.
The Karbi armed groups have agreed to abjure violence and join the peaceful democratic process as established by law of the land. The Agreement also provides for rehabilitation of cadres of the armed groups.
The Government of Assam will now set up a Karbi Welfare Council for focused development of Karbi people living outside 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, the Home Ministry said.
Speaking after the accord was signed, Shah said it is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of “Insurgency free prosperous North East”.
He also said the government is committed to keeping all promises made in the accord, and for rehabilitation of the surrendered cadre. He also said the Narendra Modi government will welcome any insurgents who want to give up arms and join the mainstream.
“This is a historic accord that has just been signed. This will be a golden day in the history of Assam,” Shah said.
“Over 1,000 cadres of over five organisations have surrendered arms and joined the mainstream today. Policy of the Modi Government that those who give up arms are brought into mainstream and we talk to them even more politely and give them more than they ask for. Due to this policy only, we are getting rid one by one of old problems that the Modi Government has inherited,” he said.
He also said a Special Development Package of Rs 1000 crores over five years will be given by the Union Government and Assam Government to undertake specific projects for the development of Karbi areas.
“The Government of Assam and the government of India are committed to keeping all the promises made in the accord. It is our policy to welcome anyone who wants to give up arms and join the mainstream. This is the reason why we are bringing an end to all the problems that we inherited from the previous governments,” Shah said.
Meanwhile, Sarma said the Karbi Anglong agitation had as much mass support as the Assam agitation, and lauded the accord being signed.
Earlier in the day, Shah had said over 3,700 insurgents have surrendered arms in the North East in the last two years.
Representatives from all outfits of Karbi Anglong – Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), factions of Karbi People’s Liberation Tiger (KPLT), People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK) and United People’s Liberation Army (UPLA) were present for signing the peace accord.