Assam government signs peace agreement with insurgents | India News


NEW DELHI: Covering yet another milestone in efforts to establish “permanent peace” in Assam by inking settlements with various armed insurgent outfits active in the state, the Centre, Assam government and eight armed adivasi groups signed a tripartite agreement. The agreement was signed in the presence of home minister Amit Shah and Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday, to end the “decades-old crisis of adivasis and tea garden workers.”
The eight adivasi groups — which together comprise 1182 cadres — are All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA), AANLA (FG), Birsa Commando Force (BCF), BCF (BT), Santhal Tiger Force, Adivasi Cobra Militant of Assam (ACMA), ACMA (FG) and Adivasi People’s Army (APA). They have been in a ceasefire with the government of India since 2016.
The tripartite agreement with the adivasi groups is latest in the series of peace accords signed by the Centre and relevant state governments since 2014 with different insurgent groups in the northeast region, starting with the settlement with NLFT(SD) in 2019, the Bru-Reang agreement and Bodo accord in 2020, Karbi Anglong pact in 2021 and the Assam-Meghalaya inter-state boundary agreement in March this year.
As per terms of the settlement, the armed adivasi cadres will give up violence, follow the rule of law and join the peaceful democratic process. The Centre and Assam government, in return, will fulfil the adivasi groups’ political, economic and educational aspirations; protect, preserve and promote their social, cultural, linguistic and ethnic identity; ensure focused and rapid development of tea gardens and adivasi villages of Assam; establish an adivasi welfare and development council; rehabilitate armed cadres and ensure welfare of tea garden workers; and provide a Rs 1,000-crore special development package for infrastructure upgrade in adivasi villages.
Shah said the accord with adivasi groups will be another important milestone in the direction of making north-east extremism-free by 2025. He said the Narendra Modi government is focused on establishing permanent peace and fast-tracking development in the northeast region.
“We have decided that by 2024, border disputes between states of the northeast should end and all insurgents should join the mainstream,” he declared.
Even on Thursday, Shah held a discussion with the chief ministers of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh on the boundary issues between the two states. The home minister urged them to resolve the inter-state dispute at the earliest and assured them of all possible Central assistance towards this end.
Sarma on Thursday said that with peace pacts signed with most of Assam’s rebel groups, “only the final accord with Dimasa remains.” Once that is done, Assam will be fully insurgency-free and peaceful, he added.
Both Shah and Sarma assured the adivasi leaders that the government of India and government of Assam shall ensure that the terms of the agreement with them are fully complied with. He claimed that 93% of the assurances made in the earlier accords had already been implemented.
Since 2014, 6,112 insurgents in the northeast have surrendered and over 9,500 arrested. There has been a massive reduction in violence with incidents down from 824 in 2014 to 158 in 2022 (till August 31). Security forces killed in the corresponding period fell from 20 to 2, civilian deaths from 212 to 6 and extremists killed from 181 to 6, showing a marked improvement in the security situation in the northeast. This has enabled a 60% reduction in areas under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Shah said.





Source link

Leave a Comment