GUWAHATI: The Assam government, on Monday, constituted a Commission for the implementation of various clauses of the BTR Accord, and also renamed the BTAD (The Bodoland Territorial Area Districts) as BTR (Bodoland Territorial Region).
The five-member Commission will be headed by retired IAS officer PP Verma as its Chairman. Its Members are the Administrator of BTC (Bodoland Territorial Council); Jayanta Basumatary, vice president of All Bodo Students Union (ABSU); and Dalim Bayan, convenor of Red Cross, Udalguri. The Commission Secretary will be the Joint Secretary, Home & Political Department, Government of Assam.
The Commissioner & Secretary (Home & political Department), GD Tripathi has issued the notification in this regard on Monday. The Commission will submit its recommendations within six months.
The Commission will examine the feasibility of including villages contiguous to BTAD and having majority tribal population. It will also examine the feasibility of excluding villages contiguous to BTAD which are contiguous to the non-Sixth Schedule areas and having majority non-tribal population.
The Commission will also examine the feasibility of increasing the number of constituencies of the BTC from the existing 40 to 60.
The BTR Accord ('Memorandum of Settlement') was signed on January 27, 2020. The signatories were the Government of India and the Government of Assam on one side with the other side constituted by the all factions of National Democratic Front of Bodoland, (NDFB), and the All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU).
In a separate notification issued by the WPT&BC (Department of Welfare of Plain Tribes and Backward Classes) on Monday, the BTAD has been renamed as Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR). Mentionably, this has been done under the terms of the BTR agreement. Now, the BTR will have enhanced executive and legislative powers.
The BTAD was formed in 2003 following a peace accord between the government and the BLT (Bodoland Liberation Tigers). Hagrama Mohillary has been heading the BTAD since then till the Governor's Rule was imposed on April 2020.
On September 20, 2020, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal along with Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma discussed issues related to the BTR accord with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi. They agreed that the clauses of the accord should be implemented as early as possible.
Meanwhile, UPPL (United People's Party Liberal) president Pramod Boro has hailed both the decisions of the Assam government. He also urged the Central and State governments to implement the remaining clauses of the BTR Accord.
He also said that the government must withdraw all cases against NDFB and also take steps for rehabilitation of the organization's leaders and cadres.
Pramod Boro, the then president of ABSU, was one of the signatories of the BTR accord-2020.