Bodo leaders seek permanent political solution to Bodoland issue
From our Correspondent
KOKRAJHAR, June 9: The fifth round of the tripartite talks with the Bodoland demand groups- All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU), Bodoland People’s Progressive Front (BPPF), United Democratic People’s Front (UDPF), People’s Joint Action Committee for Boroland Movement (PJACBM) - and the Central and State governments was held on Tuesday in New Delhi. ABSU president Promod Boro said that they were hopeful for a solution to the Bodoland issue.
The meeting was chaired by Sambhu Singh, Joint Secretary, Home, Government of India, and other officials present were AK Mishra, Joint Director, IB (GoI), Mukti Gogoi, Secretary Home, Government of Assam and Pallav Bathacharya, ADGP, Assam. On the other hand, the delegate team of the movement groups comprised ABSU president Promod Boro, former Rajya Sabha MP UG Brahma, Chief Convener of PJACBM, Jebra Ram Mashahary, president of UDPF, Pradip Daimary, working president of UDPF, Bhramon Baglary, ABSU vice-president Romeo P. rzary, secretary Kwrwmdao Wary and convener of PJACBM, Gorjan Mashahary. Sources said that the next round of talks on Bodoland issue would be held in July in New Delhi. Issues other than Bodoland area would be discussed in the last week of June or first week of July in presence of the representatives of the Union Home Ministry in Guwahati.
The Bodoland demand groups also submitted memorandum to the Union Home Minister Rajth Singh during the tripartite talk. In their memorandum, the Bodoland demand groups demanded permanent political solution to the Bodoland issue. They said that the present situation had opened the door of opportunity to settle the vexed Bodoland issue because every agitating group had already entered into the peace process. For example, both factions of the NDFB, except a few cadres led by Songbijit, have already entered into a peace process.
On the other hand, all the democratic, social, political and student bodies have already joined hands to work together for the interest of the Bodoland issue, they said, and added that they strongly believed that the NDA government would take an acceptable policy decision and it would uphold its own principle stand for re-organization of Indian States by creating more smaller States.
The memorandum stated that after the rendra Modi-led NDA government came to power, the movement groups for the first time met the Union Home Minister on September 22, 2014 in the North Block and apprised him about the past development and present status of the issue. On the same day, the Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju was also apprised on the same issue, it stated. Further, on November 29, 2014 when Prime Minister of India rendra Modi had visiting Guwahati, the delegation of the Bodoland demand groups met him also and requested him to resume and expedite the process of talks. Later, on May 5, 2015 the delegation team again met the Union Home Minister and Kiren Rijiju and reminded them of the assurance given in the previous meetings.
The Bodoland demand groups said that if political wisdom ruled then no hindrances and political prejudices could stop any government from working sincerely for resolution of any crisis. They also said since 1967, none of the successive governments could evolve any durable policy decision to bring about permanent settlement of the problem but it is only in 2003 that the then NDA government under the leadership of the Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee granted Sixth Schedule administration to the Bodo indigenous tribes in the plains of Assam in the form of the present Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC). But the Bodoland demand groups said that the quasi autonomy given in the Sixth Schedule did not serve any purpose as budget, fund allocation, appointment and planning were totally under the control of the State Government.
The groups demanded necessary policy decision from the Centre for the creation of separate state of Bodoland with immediate effect, implementation of Centre’s commitment for inclusion of Boro Kocharis of Karbi-Anglong into the ST hills and ensuring political rights and status to the Bodos living outside the proposed Bodoland area of Assam.