The accord was signed in New Delhi by the People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri, Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front, Karbi People’s Liberation Tiger, Kuki Liberation Front, and the United Peoples Liberation Army, with representatives of the Centre and the state government.
The deal was wrapped up in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, and his predecessor Sarbananda Sonowal.
“It is the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to welcome those who leave guns to be inducted to the mainstream and provide them with more benefits than they ask for to encourage them to work for the betterment of their region,” Mr Shah said.
“As per the accord, Rs 1,000 crore in five Rs 200 crore instalments will be allotted through the Assam budget over the next five years. Besides that, Karbi Kalyan Parishad and a consolidated fund for the KAAC through the state is also being discussed.”
KAAC, or the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, is an autonomous district council, protected under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
The Karbi tribe are mostly natives of two Assam districts — Karbi Anglong and Karbi Anglong West. For decades they have demanded a separate state for themselves. An armed insurgency with this aim began in the region sometime in the 1990s.
Following the signing of the accord, the Union Home Minister said that in the run up to the deal, at least 1,000 former members of these organisations had laid down their arms, seeking inclusion in the mainstream.
The former terrorists surrendered 338 weapons, including eight light machine guns with 11,203 bullets, 11 M-16 rifles, and 58 AK-47 rifles, ANI reported.
The surrender happened a year after the Bodo Accord, first signed in 2003, was extended last January by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, according to the ANI report.
Elaborating on the Accord, Mr Shah said at least 32 new projects worth Rs 325 crore had been allotted to the KAAC, besides a Rs 22 crore infrastructure development project. Soon, according to him, 20 projects worth at least Rs 200 crore in all will also be undertaken.
“This accord also paves the way for the inclusion of both the plain and hill Karbi people to be included as Scheduled Tribes of the land,” Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
Former Chief Minister Sonowal thanked Mr Shah and congratulated the KAAC, saying the accord will bring “lasting peace and prosperity to the land”.
With inputs from NDTV