It is hard to believe, but it is true that a group of ex-Bodo Liberation Tigers Welfare Society is now heading for a split.
Around one hundred members of the society, led by ex-treasurer of Kokrajhar district BLT and ex-Executive Member of Bodoland Territorial Council, Mono Kumar Brahma, decided to split.
On Tuesday, the members sat together at Elaisijhar near Kokrajhar and discussed at length the failure to complete rehabilitation of former BLT cadres. They also discussed the responsibility and functions of the society.
After the crucial meeting, Mono Kr. Brahma said it was unfortunate that even after 17 years of signing of the peace accord, the ex-guerillas are still struggling because the rehabilitation package has not been implemented properly.
Neither the Centre, nor the Assam government ensured that the ex-guerillas are rehabilitated properly so that they can start earning for their families, Brahma said.
He said even the Bodoland Territorial Council also did not do anything to guarantee rehabilitation to all the ex-BLT cadres.
Brahma, who was once the most powerful leader of the disbanded BLT, said the BPF-led Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) had miserably failed in its duties, for which the ex-BLT cadres were deprieved of their due rehabilitation package.
Around 3,000 cadres of the BLT had laid down arms and ammunition before the government after a peace accord was signed in 2003.
As per the Memorandum of Settlement, the Centre had to provide a complete rehabilitation package to all the cadres who had laid down their arms. But till today a large number of the cadres have not received any assistance.
Brahma said each ex-BLT cadre had to receive Rs 7 lakhs (Rs. 5 lakh from Home Ministry and Rs. 2 lakh from BTC) but only Rs. 50,000 was given to some cadres as first installment.
He said the government made a joke of the peace agreement by giving just Rs 50,000 to the ex-BLT cadres.
“What can the boys do with only Rs 50,000?” Brahma said, demanding that the government should immediately release the remaining amount to the ex-BLT cadres.
He said they plan to convene another crucial meeting in November in Baksa, where they plan to discuss the performance and role of the existing ex-BLT Welfare Society, which is headed by Jono Mohan Mashahary.
“We only hear about the Ex-BLT Welfare Society. But, we don’t know whether it still exists or not,” Brahma said, adding that they have lost faith in society.
He said Mashahary had a crucial role to play for the complete rehabilitation of ex-BLT cadres. But he did not do anything for the welfare of the ex-cadres.
Brahma hinted that a new association for ex-BLT cadres is likely to be formed very soon.
He said the new association will be politically neutral, and will not work with any political party.
Brahma said they will try to meet the breakaway members of ex-BLT of Udalguri district as soon as possible and will form a strong association to raise their problems including rehabilitation.