The Bodo Accord is a vital understanding between the National Democratic Front (Bodoland), the Government of Assam, and the GoI. It's a crucial step towards restoring normalcy in certain parts of Assam that are still under the AFSPA.
Signed on 27th January 2020, it extends the last Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) from 2003, previously signed between the Bodo Liberation Tiger Force (BLTF), the state of Assam, and the Government of India.
Historical Significance of the Bodo Accord
The third Bodo Accord supersedes the previous MoS (signed in 1993 and 2003). It was a vital security measure to reach a truce with the rebellious Bodo militants fighting for an autonomous Bodoland. The North-Western regions of Assam include Baksa, Chirang, Kokrajhar, and Udalguri comprise most Bodo population, an indigenous tribe of Assam.
With the present Accord, the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) receives more autonomy over the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) under the state and the central governments.
Terms and Conditions of the Bodo Accord
The third Bodo Accord includes the following upon succession from the last two Accords.
- Rehabilitation package for the Bodo people
- Restoration of land rights, revenue collection, and non-prosecution of BLTF members upon surrender
- Including Bodo as an associated language in state official business
- Development and compensatory rehabilitation of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) members
- Increasing ST reservations in the BTC (30 out of 46 seats)
- Complete surrender of clandestine arms cache to the government without repercussion
- Attachment of Bodo majority villages as per the "Alteration of Area of BTAD".
Aim of the Bodo Accord
The aim of the Bodo Accord lies in fulfilling the following objectives:
- Establishing autonomous BTC under the supervision of the state and the central government
- Securing the rights of the indigenous Bodo folks
- Ushering development and socio-economic prosperity through special economic packages
Benefits of the Bodo Accord
The Bodo Accord came into existence to guide the militancy infested Bodoland region into a constructive way of life.
- A significant reduction in militancy activities
- Restoring Bodos as naturalised citizens of India (removed from the Citizenship Amendment Act, 1955) enables them to pursue regular job recruitments, enhancing economic and social prosperity.
- Organising police and armed forces recruitments prevented the youth from choosing militancy.
- Enactment of customary law within the BTR
- Equal pay opportunity for Bodo folks in the tea estates that lie within BTR
- All NDFB, BLTF and All Bodo Student's Union (ABSU) members surrendering will receive a pardon.
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Special development package
In the third Bodo Accord, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) allotted an economic package of INR 1500 crores to enhance various development projects in the BTR.
Future of the Bodo Accord
The successful implementation of the Bodo Accord has paved the surrender of the leading militancy groups like BLTF and most of the NDFB (excluding P, RD and S) and ULFA factions.
Amidst prosperity and development, some militant groups like the KLO and NSCN have formed the UNFLW. The BTC and the state government look forward to maintaining peace and prosperity throughout the BTR.
The Bodo Accord is a landmark achievement, both in the history of Assam and India. It's a successful instance of how militants can embrace public life and the vitality of peaceful dialogue as the ultimate method toward bloodless settlement.
FAQs on Bodo Accord
Q.1. When was the first Bodo Accord signed?
The first Bodo Accord MoS was signed on 20th February 1993.
Q.2. When was the second Bodo Accord signed?
The second Bodo Accord MoS was signed on 10th February 2003.
Q.3. When was the third Bodo Accord signed?
The third Bodo Accord MoS was signed on 27th January 2020.
Q.4. Which parties signed the Bodo Accord?
The ABSU, BLTF, NDFB, and the governments of Assam and the Union of India signed the Bodo Accord.
Q.5. What does Bodo Accord mean to India?
The Bodo Accord is a vital step to curbing militancy by offering compensatory rehabilitation.