In order to foster peace and prosperity in Assam, on September 4, 2021, the Central Government has signed a tripartite Karbi Anglong Agreement/Memorandum of Settlement under which all conditions of the Karbi people will be fulfilled in a stipulated time.
- Karbis are a major ethnic community of Assam.
It was signed between the Central Government, Assam Government, and Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) in the presence of Union Minister Amit Shah, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA); Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Ministry of Shipping and Waterways; Assam chief minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma; and Chief Executive Member of KAAC, Tuliram Ronghang, among other representatives in New Delhi.
What is in the agreement?
i.Investment of Rs 1,000 crore by the Union and Assam government for development of the Karbi Anglong area in the next 5 years
ii.Provide reservation for the people of Karbi for the first time
iii.Rehabilitation for the surrendered militants
iv.Setting up of Karbi Welfare Council by the Assam government Council for focussed development of Karbi people living outside KAAC area.
v.Greater devolution of autonomy to the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, protection of identity, language, culture, etc. of Karbi people and focussed development of the Council area, without affecting the territorial and administrative integrity of Assam.
vi.The Consolidated Fund of the State will be augmented to supplement the resources of KAAC.
Reason behind this agreement:
On 23 February 2021, over 1,000 cadres of five different organizations of Karbi Anglong laid down their arms to join the mainstream. They also surrendered a total of 338 weapons and 11000 rounds of ammunition including AK-series rifles, M16 rifles, LMGs, rocket launchers etc. The 5 organizations are:
- People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK),
- Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF),
- Karbi People’s Liberation Tigers (KPLT),
- Kuki Liberation Front (KLF) and
- United People’s Liberation Army (UPLA)
So, as per the Central Government policy those who give up arms are to be brought into the mainstream. Their relevant demands are also fulfilled in order to maintain peace and get rid of old problems in Assam which have been marked by marked by killings, ethnic violence, abductions and taxation since the late 1980s. This agreement will cater to this scenario and bring an end to this violence.
- Earlier the Government had signed the Bodoland Peace Accord (Assam), Bru Rehabilitation Agreement and National Liberation Front of Tripura (Tripura) where 80% of the agreement conditions were fulfilled.
i.Indian government is focusing on Northeast Region under its ‘Insurgency free prosperous North East’ to make it developed, peaceful and progressive.
ii.The tripartite agreement was signed twice in 1995 and 2011 too but due to lack of concerns by the governments peace could not be established in Karbi-Anglong.
About Karbi Anglong:
It is the largest district in Assam and also an autonomous district under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. It is divided into two parts — East Karbi Anglong (EKA) and West Karbi Anglong (WKA) — with its administrative headquarters at Diphu town in EKA.
- It comprises various tribal and ethnic groups including the Kukis, Dimasas, Garos, Rengma Nagas, Tiwas and Karbis.
- The Karbi Anglong District Council (KADC), which safeguards the rights of the tribal people, was upgraded to KAAC in April 1995.
- In this district, inter-tribe clashes were common making it one of the most volatile regions of Assam.
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