Bodo Accord: Who are they and what are their rights?
The recently concluded Bodo Accord is one of the most historic deals that will bring peace to the disputed Bodo Area in Assam.
But, first let us understand the issue?
- The Bodosare a Scheduled Tribe from Assam.
- They are the largest community amongst ST in Assam.
- They form 5-6% of the total population.
- Te struggle for a separate identity for the Bodoshave been going on since the 1930s.
- The demand for a separate Bodoland came in late 1980s. All BodoStudents Union (ABSU) led by Upendra Nath Brahma was at the forefront of this demand.
- Bodoland Liberation Tigers (BLT) and The National Democratic Front of Bodolandwere separatists groups that came up to ensure that their demands were met.
Since, 1993 three agreements have been signed between ABSU, State Government and Centre, the recent one being the third and permanent solution to the long-drawn issue.
The BTC (Bodoland Territorial Council ) Agreement of 2003, administered the Bodoland Territorial Area and included within it 4 districts of Assam-Kokrajhar, Chirang, Udalguri and Baksa.
What does the current agreement say?
- The current agreement has been signed by the Centre, Assam Government and various BodoGroups.
- A special package of Rs. 1500 croreswill be given for the development of Bodo Areas.
- Armed cadres of NDFB factions will surrender violence and be rehabilitated.
- The Area of BTAD will be altered to excluded non- Bodovillages and include Bodo dominated villages.
- This will be done by setting up a commission under Section 14 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India.They will recommend the inclusion or exclusion of tribal population residing in villages adjoining BTAD areas. The commission will include members from the State government, ABSU and BTC.
- BTAD will be renamed to Bodoland Territorial Region.
- The social, cultural, linguistic and ethnic identitiesof the Bodos will be protected and promoted
- A Bodo-Kachari Welfare Councilwill also be formed.
- Bodolanguage will be identified as an associate official language in Assam.
- A separate directorate for Bodomedium schools will be set up.
- The BTC will get more legislative, executive, administrative and financial powers.
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