Guwahati: With the signing of the tripartite Karbi Peace Agreement today in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Assam Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma and the representatives of Karbi outfits in Delhi, the Narendra Modi-led government took one step closer to attaining peace in the strife-torn Northeast Indian region.
Amit Shah, who was present at the signing ceremony that also saw the attendance of many surrendered militant leaders, said that Mr Modi’s government is committed to ensuring Assam’s territorial integrity.
The groundwork for the Karbi Peace Agreement was laid in February of this year when 1,040 Karbi militants belonging to five outfits — namely People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK), Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), Karbi People’s Liberation Tiger (KPLT), Kuki Liberation Front (KLF) and United Peoples Liberation Army (UPLA) — laid down arms before then Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal to return to the mainstream.
The Salient features of the Karbi Peace Agreement are:
The Memorandum of Settlement will ensure greater devolution of autonomy to the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, protection of identity, language, culture, etc. of Karbi people, and focus the development of the Council area, without affecting the territorial and administrative integrity of Assam.
The Agreement also provides for the rehabilitation of cadres of the armed Karbi groups who have abjured violence.
Under the terms of the Agreement, the Government of Assam shall set up a Karbi Welfare Council for the focussed development of Karbi people living outside the KAAC area.
The Consolidated Fund of the State will be augmented to supplement the resources of the Karbi Council.
Overall, the present settlement proposes to give more legislative, executive, administrative, and financial powers to KAAC.
Furthermore, the Centre has also promised a sum of Rs. 1,000 crores over 5 years to Karbi areas towards fulfilling a long pending demand.