Bodo Accord ended demand for separate state: Assam min

Bodo Accord ended demand for a separate state: Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in Guwahati on Tuesday. (DH photo)

The signing of the new accord with Bodo groups in Assam on Monday ended the long-standing demand for a separate state, Assam minister and senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Tuesday.

"The accord signed yesterday (Monday) clearly talks about peace and prosperity in Bodoland region while keeping territorial integrity of Assam intact. The two other accords signed in 1993 and 2003 did not talk about the territorial integrity of Assam. Also, earlier two agreements were not signed by All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU), which has been leading the movement for a separate state for the Bodos. So the movement that began more than four decades ago, which emerged as a threat to the territorial integrity of Assam ended. And officially the demand for a seperate Bodoland state also ended," Sarma told reporters here.

The Centre and Assam government on Monday signed the new Bodo Accord in New Delhi with all the four factions of the insurgent group National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), ABSU and United Bodo People's Organisation, representing Bodos living outside the present Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD).

The new accord decided to give more autonomy and legislative, administrative and financial power to BTAD, which will be renamed as Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR).

It also announced Rs 1,500 crore package for development of BTR in the next three years.

More than 4,000 people including security forces and civilians died during the armed conflict for Bodoland since 1987.

"The accord in 1993 and 2003 were signed without NDFB and ABSU. So those were not comprehensive but it is final and comprehensive as all stakeholders were taken into confidence and all signed together," said Sarma, who also signed the accord as witnesses, along with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Hargama Mohilary, the chief of Bodoland Territorial Council.

ABSU president Promod Boro abstained from making his stand clear on the issue of a separate state but hoped that peace and development would usher in BTR if all promises are implemented by the government. Sources said that ABSU would make its stand clear after its next general council meeting to be held soon.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox