Will implement agreement in time-bound manner: Shah
Rs 1,000-crore package announced for Karbi Anglong
GUWAHATI: The Centre, the Assam Government and five rebel groups of Karbi Anglong signed the Karbi peace accord in New Delhi on Saturday. The government announced a package of Rs 1,000 crore for the development of Karbi Anglong.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal were present at the signing of the peace accord.
Shah said, "I want to assure everyone that we will implement the accord in a time-bound manner. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's focus on the Northeast is not only peace but also overall development. We have ensured peace – no violence, no blast and no firing in the Northeast.
"The Modi government will welcome any insurgents who want to give up arms to join the mainstream".
Reiterating the Prime Minister's vision of 'insurgency-free prosperous Northeast', Shah said that the government was committed to fulfilling all promises made in the accord and for rehabilitation of the surrendered cadres.
The five insurgent groups that signed the peace accord are – People's Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK), Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), Karbi People's Liberation Tigers (KPLT), Karbi Liberation Front (KLF) and United People's Liberation Army (UPLA). The total cadre strength of these five insurgent groups is around 1,000. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "It is a historic day. Along with the Assam agitation, two other agitations – an agitation for an autonomous state in Karbi Anglong and an agitation for a separate state in the Bodoland – were underway in Assam. The Assam Agitation calmed Assam, but not these two areas in the state. The Bodo Accord signed in 2019 solved the problem of Bodoland. The essence of the Bodo Accord is keeping the territorial integrity of Assam intact. Today's accord put an end to the demand for Karbi autonomy. The Karbis also have the demand for making their language an associate official language in the state. We will meet that demand within six months."
Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, "Peace prevails in the Northeast for the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister."
Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council Chief Executive Member Tuliram Ronghang said, "It's a historic moment for the Karbis. On behalf of the Karbis, I express my profound gratitude to Union Home Minister Amit Shah."
Addressing the media after the signing of the accord, the Chief Minister said that the Rs 1,000-crore package for the development of Karbi Anglong would come from Rs 500 crore each from the Centre and the State Government. "The governments will release Rs 200 crore to Karbi Anglong yearly for five years under the package.
"Today's agreement raised the number of seats in the KAAC to 50 – keeping 34 seats reserved for ST, ten seats open and the Governor will nominate six candidates.
"This government has signed three accords in Assam – one each with the Bru, Bodos and Karbis."
On talks with the ULFA, the Chief Minister said that informal communications were underway with the group. "I am hopeful that one day they will seat across the negotiation table," he said.