Spotlight Sep 5: DISCUSSION ON “KARBI ANGLONG PEACE ACCORD
- GS-2: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure
- GS-3: Internal Security
Karbi Anglong Peace Accord
IIn News: A historic Karbi Anglong Agreement to end the decades old crisis ensuring Assam’s territorial integrity was signed. With the signing of the agreement, the union government said that those who shun violence will be “brought into the mainstream” and the government will “talk to them even more politely and give them more than their demands”.
- A Special Development Package of Rs. 1000 crores over five years will be given by the Union Government and Assam Government to undertake specific projects for the development of Karbi areas.
- Ensure 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.
- The Karbi armed groups have agreed to abjure violence and join the peaceful democratic process as established by law of the land. The Agreement also provides for rehabilitation of cadres of the armed groups. The cadre of the armed forces would be encouraged to take part in various employment generation activities of the government and other government benefits.
- The Government of Assam shall set up a Karbi Welfare Council for focused development of Karbi people living outside KAAC area.
- The Consolidated Fund of the State will be augmented to supplement the resources of KAAC. Overall, the present settlement proposes to give more legislative, executive, administrative and financial powers to KAAC.
- Army, paramilitary forces and police shall organise a special drive for the recruitment of the Karbi youth. Cases filed against the armed groups which are non- heinous in nature shall be withdrawn by the Assam government in accordance with the law and as far as heinous cases are concerned a call will be taken on a case-to-case basis.
- The Assam government will provide financial compensation of Rs 5 lakh to each of the next of kin of persons who lost their lives in agitations related to autonomous State demand and have not yet been compensated in any manner.
- Apart from the Bodoland movement and the one led by ULFA for a sovereign Assam, the Karbi insurgency — for a separate state of Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills — is one of the several insurgencies that Assam has faced over the years.
- The Karbi have been demanding a separate state since 1946. Later, their movement took the shape of an insurgency which intensified in the 1990s. The Centre signed various ceasefire agreements with different groups but there were always breakaway factions that continued armed struggle.
- In February 2021, just ahead of the Assam assembly polls, 1,040 militants of five Karbi outfits surrendered before then Chief Minister Sonowal. The current accord is a result of negotiations with the five groups since then.
- The tripartite MoU was signed twice in 1995 and 2011, but these agreements had failed to establish peace in Karbi-Anglong. The recent agreement is the result of several rounds of talks between the central government and representatives of the Karbi and Kuki organisations in an effort to find a comprehensive and final solution to the demands of the Karbi group, while upholding the territorial integrity of Assam.
- This agreement hopes to put that in the past.
- Located in central Assam, Karbi Anglong is the state’s largest district and a melting pot of ethnicities and tribal groups — Karbi, Dimasa, Bodo, Kuki, Hmar, Tiwa, Garo, Man (Tai speakers), Rengma Naga.
- It is an autonomous district under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution and is divided into two parts — East Karbi Anglong (EKA) and West Karbi Anglong (WKA) — with its administrative headquarters at Diphu town in EKA.
- The Karbi Anglong District Council (KADC), which safeguards the rights of the tribal people, was upgraded to Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) in April 1995.
- Its diversity also spawned different outfits and fuelled an insurgency that did not allow the region to develop.
Discuss: An Insurgency-free prosperous Northeast