As per reports, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah is likely to sign an accord with the banned Assam-based insurgent group National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), today. The tripartite agreement will be signed by Shah in the presence of Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry Satyendra Garg and Assam Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna, and the top leadership of the four factions of the NDFB led by Ranjan Daimari, Govinda Basumatary, Dhiren Boro and B Saoraigra.
It will be the third Bodo accord to be signed in the last 27 years since the violent movement for a separate Bodoland state has erupted.
As per the new treaty, the existing Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) will be upgraded to Bodoland Union Council and all the four factions of the NDFB, ABSU and Bodo political elites have endorsed it. The previous BTC has control over 30 subjects like education, forests, horticulture but no jurisdiction on the police, revenue, and general administration departments, which are controlled by the Assam government. The new accord will give political and economic provisions to the tribal, including safeguarding the Bodo language and culture.
However, the long-standing demand for a separate Bodoland state or union territory remains uninterrupted. Further, the Assam State Finance Minister and the convener of North-East Democratic Alliance Himanta Biswa Sarma said that no new village or area would be added to the BTAD under the new accord.
“The accord will be within the framework of the Constitution without splitting the state,” stated an official.
On 16 January, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland has signed a tripartite agreement, over the suspension of operations with the central and state governments, further, to give up violence and join peace talks with the government.
In early 1993, the first Bodo accord was signed with the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU), which lead to the creation of a Bodoland Autonomous Council with limited political powers.
Later in 2003, a second Bodo accord was signed with the militant group Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT), leading to the formation of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) under the 6th Schedule of the Constitution. It consisted of four districts of Assam including Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baska and Udalguri named the Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD).