New Delhi: The Centre and Assam government on Thursday signed a tripartite peace accord with eight tribal outfits of Assam. The accord was signed in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The eight rebel groups include Birsa Commando Force (BCF), Adivasi People’s Army (APA), All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA), Adivasi Cobra Military of Assam (ACMA) and Santhali Tiger Force (STF) and the remaining three outfits are splinter groups of BCF, AANLA and ACMA.
The accord was signed 10 years after the peace process started. Birsa Commando Force (BCF), Adivasi People’s Army (APA), All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA), Adivasi Cobra Military of Assam (ACMA) and Santhali Tiger Force (STF) have been in a ceasefire with the government since 2012 and since then the cadres of the militant outfits are staying in designated camps.
“I am sure signing of the agreement will usher in a new era of peace and harmony in Assam,” Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said.
On January 27 this year, a total of 246 insurgents of two militant groups of the state laid down their arms and returned to the mainstream.
In an arms-laying ceremonial function held at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati, 169 insurgents of the United Gorkha People’s Organisation (UGPO) and 77 insurgents of the Tiwa Liberation Army (TLA) laid down their arms before Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, Chief Executive Member of BTR Pramod Boro, CEM TAC Jibon Chandra Konwar.
Earlier, the Assam CM had held a meeting with rebel Adivasi groups regarding the final settlement which is currently under a ceasefire.
Amit Shah had in January 2020 also presided over the signing of a historic agreement between the Government of India, the Government of Assam and Bodo representatives in New Delhi to end the over 50-year-old Bodo crisis that has cost the region over 4,000 lives.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday lauded the tripartite peace accord.
Speaking after the accord was signed, Shah said the Centre is working towards ending all border disputes in the northeast by 2024.
The minister said that the government is working for the conservation and development of culture of Assam and the northeast, ending disputes, signing agreements with armed groups and rehabilitating them and boosting development in the northeast as in other parts of the country. “We have signed several agreements in the past three years. We have decided that before 2024, be it the inter-state border disputes, be it rebel groups, we want to end all the disputes,” he said.