PM Narendra Modi has hailed the agreement and has said that a new dawn of peace, harmony and progress will herald better days for everyone and contribute to the growth of our great nation.
- NJ Thakuria
While the country and more precisely Assam and parts of Northeast were witnessing a series of protest demonstrations against the citizenship amendment act 2019 (CAA), thousands of rebels belonged to various ethnic insurgent outfits decided to surrender and join the peace process with the government. Meanwhile, the signing of an accord with various Bodo groups including armed militants added colour to the celebration of peace in the region. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while hailing the agreement he commented that a new dawn of peace, harmony and progress will herald better days for everyone as members from armed resistance groups would enter the mainstream and contribute to the growth of our great nation.
"Ushering in a new dawn of peace, harmony and togetherness…the accord with Bodo groups, which has been inked today (27 January 2020) will lead to transformative results for the Bodo people," said PM Modi in one of his twits.
The historic Bodo accord was signed in New Delhi by top leaders of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) in presence of Union home minister Amit Shah, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) chief Hagrama Mohilary, All Bodo Students’ Union president Pramod Boro with many others. Rajya Sabha member Biswajit Daimary, former RS member Urkha Gwra Brahma, State minister Chandan Brahma, ABSU general secretary Lawrence Islary, former ABSU leader Rwngwra Narzary along with top NDFB leaders like Ranjan Daimary, Gobinda Basumatary, B Saoraigwra, Dhirendra Boro, etc were all present on the occasion.
Amit Shah expressed hope that the accord would ensure a golden future for Bodo people as it would safeguard the Bodo language and culture with adequate political and economic patronage to the community. He also announced Rs 1,500 crore development funds for the BTC authority. Soon after the signing of Bodo Accord, over 1500 cadres along with top leaders of NDFB surrendered 178 weapons on 30 January. State chief minister Sonowal commented that the surrender ceremony on the historic day coinciding with the 72nd death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi would pave a new chapter of peace. Sonowal assured of a comprehensive rehabilitation policy for the rebels for providing employment opportunities very soon.
State senior minister Himanta Biswa Sarma termed the initiative as a great step for the permanent solution to various Bodo issues. He also urged all armed militant outfits including United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent) and Manipur based armed groups to join the peace process. Mentioning about ULFA (I) leader Paresh Baruah, he expressed hope that the outfit would soon come to the negotiation table.
Earlier on 23 January over 500 armed cadres from various militant outfits laid down their arms. As more as 50 rebels from ULFA (I) along with insurgents from Adivashi Dragon Fighter, National Democratic Front of Bodoland, Kamatapur Liberation Organisation, Rabha National Liberation Front, etc deposited 177 arms and ammunition with explosive materials to the authority. Speaking on the occasion, Sonowal commented that building a terrorism-free Assam was one of the main commitments of the present government in Dispur. Peace is a prerequisite for ushering in development and the former militants must contribute towards sustaining peace and harmony in the society, he said.
Referring to PM Modi’s vision and execution of duties, he asked people from all sections in the society to emulate Modi’s dedication towards the objective of making Bharat strong force at the international stage. Following the Centre’s Act East Policy initiatives, the State government was undertaking steps to make Guwahati the gateway to South East Asia, he asserted adding that lately the local farmers have been able to export their produce to Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, etc.