Assam, Centre sign historic Karbi Peace Accord

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New Delhi/Guwahati, 04 September: The Union Government on Saturday signed the tripartite “Karbi Peace Accord” in New Delhi. The peace agreement was signed in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and representatives of six Karbi organizations.

After the agreement, Amit Shah tweeted that the agreement was historic and said that the Modi government is committed to resolve the decades-old crisis and ensure the territorial integrity of Assam. Today around 1000 cadres of more than 5 organizations have started joining the mainstream by putting up arms.

This peace agreement took place at the North Block office of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The agreement was signed by the heads of three factions of Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), United People’s Liberation Army (UPLA), Karbi People’s Liberation Tiger (KPLT) and People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK) on behalf of Karbi rebel organizations.

On this occasion, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of State for Home Nityananda, MP and National General Secretary of BJP Dilip Saikia as well as Assam MP, Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council’s CEM Tuliram Ranghang and others. Respected representatives were also present.

After the agreement, Amit Shah said that the Modi government is committed to resolve the decades-old crisis and ensure the territorial integrity of Assam. This day will surely be written with golden letters in the history of Assam and Karbi region. Today around 1000 cadres of more than 5 organizations have started joining the mainstream by putting up arms.

Shah said that in respect of Karbi Anglong, the Assam government would spend Rs 1000 crore for the development of an area in five years. It is the policy of the Narendra Modi government that we fulfill all the conditions of the agreement we make in our own time.

Assam Chief Minister Sarma said after the agreement that Bodo and Karbi, two tribal groups in Assam wanted to separate from Assam. The Bodo Accord was signed in 2009 and it opened new avenues of development while maintaining the territorial integrity of Assam whereas Karbi deal is done today. This will bring peace to the Karbi Anglong area. The signing of the Karbi Anglong Accord is a historic day for Assam. Under the new agreement, the people of the hill tribes will be entitled to reservation under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, former Chief Minister and presently Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, “I would like to thank the Modi government at the Center for signing the historic Karbi Agreement, which is the solution to the decades-old crisis of Assam, committed to ensuring territorial integrity. I would also like to thank the Chief Minister of Assam. The efforts of Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have also contributed in today’s agreement.

Sonowal said, ‘I had a three-day program in Mumbai, but I came to know that an important work is going to happen here, so I canceled my tour to be here.’

On this occasion, CEM Tuliram Ranghang of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister, Chief Minister, Central Government, State Government.

He said that now peace will prevail in the hilly district Karbi Anglong and the area will develop rapidly. Pradeep Terang of Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front after signing the Karbi Anglong Accord in Delhi said that 90-95% of our demands for the development of Karbi Anglong will be met with this agreement. We hope that this agreement will lead us towards development and bring peace. The agreement assumes significance as the Karbi, the dominant ethnic community in Assam, which has been involved in killings, ethnic violence, kidnapping and taxation since the late 1980s, has a long history of insurgency.

Around 200 Karbi militants are part of 1,040 militants who formally laid down their arms on February 25 this year at an event in Guwahati in the presence of former Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. The surrendered militants had reached Delhi several days back. There they stayed in different hotels. This was also present during the signing of the agreement today. Among the surrendered militants was Ingti Kathar Songbijit, who has been involved in several cases of insurgency and ethnic violence in the state.

These militants deposited a total of 338 weapons, including 8 light machine guns, 11 M-16 rifles and 58 AK-47 rifles with 11,203 bullets. The militants of the five organizations had come to surrender with their weapons a year later when the BJP signed the Bodo Peace Accord to end the long-running violence in Bodoland.