Historic Karbi peace accord signed to end insurgency in Assam
It proposes more legislative, executive, administrative and financial powers to the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council
A historic Karbi peace accord to end a decades-old insurgency and ensure Assam’s territorial integrity was signed in New Delhi in Saturday.
The Karbi Anglong Agreement envisages granting greater autonomy to the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) and providing an impetus to development.
With this accord, over 1,000 armed cadres have abjured violence and joined the mainstream of society.
The Karbis are a major ethnic group on Assam. These insurgents belonged to different outfits with the same core demand - that of forming a separate state - that were active since the 1980s.
Under the accord, a Special Development Package of Rs. 1,000 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 Accord was signed in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma and Union Minister and former Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, said an official press release issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
Tuliram Ronghang, Chief Executive Member of KAAC, and representatives of Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front/ KLNLF, People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri/ PDCK, United People’s Liberation Army/ UPLA, Karbi People’s Liberation Tigers/KPLT factions were present for the signing of the accord.
Key features of the Karbi Anglong Agreement
According to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs:
* This Memorandum of Settlement will ensure greater devolution of autonomy to the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, protection of identity, language, culture, etc. of Karbi people and 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 shall set up a Karbi Welfare Council for focussed development of Karbi people living outside KAAC area.
* The Consolidated Fund of the State will be augmented to supplement the resources of KAAC.
The present settlement proposes to give more legislative, executive, administrative and financial powers to KAAC.
According to Home Minister Shah, the Karbi Agreement is another milestone in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of “Insurgency free prosperous North East”.
He added that today’s historic Karbi Anglong agreement will be written in golden letters in the history of Assam.
He said that since becoming Prime Minister, the northeast has not only been an area of focus for PM Modi, but all-round development of northeast, peace and prosperity there has been the top priority for the Government.