The All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) has expressed serious concern over rumours and ‘false propaganda’ on BTR Accord, being spread by political leaders from various parties during campaigns for BTC polls.

ABSU president Dipen Boro said false information has also been circulated by vested interests regarding the land rights of the non-tribals and non-Bodo people living in erstwhile BTAD and now BTR during the election campaigns.

“A massive anti-BTR campaign has been launched to malign the very spirit of the Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) of the BTR accord on social media,” said Boro while addressing the media at Bodofa House in Kokrajhar on Friday.

Boro said, “Political speeches are being delivered to divert the common people’s mind from misrule, misappropriation and high mounting failure of the ruling government in BTC in development issues in the last 17 years.”

He also said, “The common people’s attention is being diverted from rampant corruption in MGNREGA, PMAY and various schemes by the successive governments as per earlier CAG report.”

The ABSU president also mentioned the illegal appointments in BTC just before 6 months of the end of the BPF-led council in 2020.

“The common people are being threatened that the implementation of the BTR accord will snatch the land rights of the non-tribal people in the BTR region. This is being done only to destabilise the peace and harmony of the region,” Boro said.

The ABSU president strongly condemned the “ill-motivated and design of the politically immoral statements” and clarified its stand on the MoS of BTR that mentioned the land issues.

As per the clauses of the BTR accord, “7.1 Government of Assam may consider enacting a special legislation to provide adequate safeguards to land rights of STs living outside tribal belts and blocks in areas outside BTAD”, Boro said.

“7.2 Government of Assam will take effective measures to protect khas land, grazing land and water bodies from illegal encroachment. Land rights of non-Tribal in erstwhile BTAD and now in BTR remain as same without any impact and effect,” he added.

As per clause 4.3 of the BTC Accord “safeguards for the settlement rights, transfer and inheritance of property etc. of non-tribals will be suitably incorporated in para 3 of the sixth schedule”, he added.

“The amendments to the sixth schedule shall include in such a manner that non-tribals are not disadvantaged in relation to the rights enjoyed by them at the commencement of BTC and their rights and privileges including land rights are fully protected,” the ABSU president clarified.

“Land rights of all the communities of tribal and non-tribal residing in BTR will be equally protected and enjoyed as per the above clause of amended sixth schedule without any hindrance,” Boro said.

“None of us need not to fear and feel insecure, unsafe in regard to land right because BTR is an arrangement within the state of Assam and India under the Constitution of India,” he added.

BTR accord signed on January 27, 2020 by bringing peace in the region as all the factions of the NDFB joined the mainstream shunning the path of violence.

The accord was signed by all factions of NDFB, ABSU and UBPO for the interest of the people of BTR for speedy development, good governance and equal rights and justice to the tribal and non- tribal communities maintaining territorial integrity of the state of Assam with maximum autonomy, powers, he said.

The accord was also signed with an assurance of the establishment of new institutions of national importance, industry, factory, creation of self-employment and economic development with education institutional hubs, Boro further said.

Rinoy Basumatary

Rinoy Basumatary is Northeast Now Correspondent in Kokrajhar. He can be reached at: rinoymasscom@gmail.com