BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary (File image)

The Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) is on a threshold of gaining more autonomy and accorded a special status.

If the sources in the government agencies are to be believed the proposed memorandum lays down rules where the autonomous council will have special rights for the domiciles, and ‘outsiders’ will have to obtain a ‘permit’ to work in the areas.

The Union Home Ministry and the Assam government are expected to sign a memorandum of settlement (MoS) with All Bodo Student’s Union (ABSU); National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and People’s Joint Action Committee For Bodoland Movement (PJACBM) on Monday.

Also read: Assam bandh on Monday opposing Union Territorial Council

The MoS also proposes that the ‘Government of India shall grant general amnesty to the convicts of the NDFB (if any) and withdraw all the cases and charges framed’ against the members and sympathizers of the outfit.

The proposal also includes withdrawal of all cases filed against NDFB workers by the security agencies and police and release of all NDFB members from jails.

The proposal also advocates division of districts where the heartland of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) Kokrajhar will be divided into two districts – Kokrajhar and Gossaigaon while Baksa will be divided into two parts – Baksa and Manas.

Bhergaon will be carved out from Udalguri district and two new districts will be carved out from Sonitpur, Biswanath and Lakhimpur and they will be named as Mainoshree and Holongi.

The new Council will also likely to get funds directly from the Centre claims the report.

The push for a final deal gathered pace with the signing of suspension of operations (SoS) agreement with the State and Central governments and NDFB (S), whose topbrass and cadres crossed over to India from their bases in Myanmar on January 11 to join the peace process.

Later, two senior leaders of the outfit, G Bidai and Batha also joined the process on Wednesday.

The general secretary of Bhutan-India Friendship Association (BIFA), Gelegphu Chapter Ugen Rabten said, “With such positive developments in the neighbourhood, we are more than happy and I personally extend my appreciation to the Government of India and BTC Chief Hagrama Mohilary.”

He further said after several decades of unrest and bloodshed for the cause of Bodoland, now the Bodo people  will begin to see a streak of silver line to accomplish their hopes and aspirations .

This peaceful way of negotiating the talks between the stakeholders will not only foster positive resolution but will return peace in the region.

Shajid Khan

Shajid Khan is Northeast Now Correspondent in Udalguri. He can be reached at: itsshajidkhan@gmail.com