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Bodo Accord 2020

Tue 28 Jan, 2020

Recently a tripartite agreement on Bodo Accord has been signed central government, Assam government and Bodo representatives in New Delhi. This agreement will redraw and rename the Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD) in Assam, currently spread over four districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri.

Background

  • This is the third agreement that Bodo nationalists have signed accords have been signed with the Union government since the 1990s.
  • The first was signed in 1993 between the Assam government and moderate elements of the Bodo movement which paved the way for the formation of a Bodo Autonomous Council to allow for some degree of self-governance.
  • In 2003, the Union government signed second agreement resulted to the formation of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. These areas are commonly called Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD).

Major Highlights

  • The tripartite agreement has been signed by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, the leadership of four factions of NDFB, Satyendra Garg, Joint Secretary of ABSU, Ministry of Home Affairs and Kumar Sanjay Krishna, Chief Secretary of Assam.
  • The current agreement proposes to set up a commission under Section 14 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India, which will recommend the inclusion or exclusion of tribal population residing in villages adjoining BTAD areas. In this commission, besides State government there will be representatives from ABSU and BTC.
  • The Government of Assam will establish a Bodo-Kachari Welfare Council as per existing procedure.
  • The Assam government will also notify Bodo language as an associate official language in the state and will set up a separate directorate for Bodo medium schools. The present settlement has proposal to give more legislative, executive, administrative and financial powers to BTC.

Bodoland Movement

  • The Bodo people are the largest tribe of Assam settled in the northern part of the Brahmaputra river valley. These tribes claimed themselves as natives of the Assam. According to an estimate, the Bodo tribe is about 28 percent of Assam’s population.
  • The Bodo tribe has been complaining that their land in Assam was occupied by other cultures and communities with different identities. In 1966 the Bodo tribals formed the Plains Tribal Council of Assam (PTCA) and demanded a separate union territory Udayachal.
  • The Bodo movement started witnessing violence post-1980s.
  • Now, this movement divided into three streams. The first group NDFB is demanding for a separate state for itself. The second group Bodo Liberation Tiger (BLT) is demanding greater autonomy and targeted non-Bodo groups. The third group All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) is looking for more political powers and involvement in state administration.