Why in News
Recently, the central government, the Assam government and the Bodo groups, including all factions of the militant National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), signed an agreement to redraw and rename the Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD) as the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR), in Assam.
- BTAD is spread over four districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri.
- The BTAD and other areas mentioned under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution have been exempted from the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019.
- Bodoland Territorial Region would include the villages which are dominated by Bodos but are outside BTAD presently. Villages with non-Bodo population would be excluded from it.
- A committee will be formed to decide the exclusion and inclusion of new areas. Subsequently, the total number of Assembly seats will go up to 60, from the existing 40.
- Both the representatives of the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) and of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) will be present in the committee.
- Bodo-Kachari Welfare Council will be set up for focused development of Bodo villages outside BTAD.
- Bodos living in the hills would be conferred a Scheduled Hill Tribe status.
- Bodo language with Devanagari script would be the associate official language for the entire Assam.
- However, the agreement has not addressed the issue of “citizenship or work permit” for non-domiciles in the BTAD yet.
- Around 1500 cadres of NDFB will be rehabilitated and assimilated by the Central and the state governments.
- The criminal cases registered against factions of NDFB members for non-heinous crimes shall be withdrawn and the cases of heinous crimes will be reviewed.
- Comprehensive solutions have been made to redress the grievances of the people.
- Families of the people killed during the Bodo movement would get ₹5 lakh each.
- A Special Development Package of ₹1500 crore would be given by the Centre to undertake specific projects for the development of Bodo areas.
- The accord will successfully bring together leading stakeholders under one framework.
- People previously associated with armed resistance groups will enter the mainstream and contribute to the nation’s progress.
- It will further protect and popularise the unique culture of the Bodo people and will give them access to a wide range of development-oriented initiatives.
- It will bring peace, harmony and togetherness in the people of Assam.
- Bodos are the single largest community among the notified Scheduled Tribes in Assam. Bodos are a part of Bodo-Kachari and constitute about 5-6% of Assam’s population.
- The first organised demand for a Bodo state came in 1967-68.
- The Assam Accord of 1985, gave rise to Bodo aspirations and in 1987, ABSU revived the Bodo statehood demand.
- Bodo Security Force which arose in 1986 as an armed group renamed itself NDFB, and later split into factions.
- The first Bodo accord was signed with the ABSU in 1993. It led to the creation of the Bodoland Autonomous Council (BAC) with some limited political powers.
- In 2003, the second Bodo Accord was signed by the extremist group Bodo Liberation Tiger Force (BLTF), the Centre and the state. This led to the creation of BTC, which is an autonomous body under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.