Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal addressing a gathering during the Bodoland Day celebration in Kokrajhar
Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal addressing a gathering during the Bodoland Day celebration in Kokrajhar

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday urged ULFA (I) chief Paresh Baruah to join the peace talks with the government.

He also sought support from all sections of the society in establishing peace in the state and hailed the insurgent outfits of Bodoland who laid down their arms recently.

He was addressing the ceremonial function of 18th Bodoland Day celebration in Kokrajhar.

Sonowal said that his government set the goal for an insurgency-free Assam at the time of taking over charge of the state.

“As a result of committed efforts by the government, several path-breaking achievements have been made,” he said.

“The signing of the 3rd Bodo Peace Accord is a historic step in this direction and this will not only help in fulfilling the aspirations of Bodo people but also the communities who have been living in the BTC,” Sonowal added.

Paying rich tributes to Bodofa Upendra Nath Brahma, Sonowal said the Bodo people have set an example with the peace accord.

Dispelling every apprehension that the accord would hamper the interests of other communities, Sonowal urged the people not to panic.

“Every community living in BTC will get equal dignity and opportunity,” he said.

“We have made several commitments in the peace accord to achieve this aim,” he said.

The accord speaks of establishing Bodoland Institute of Rural Development, four Polytechnic and Vocational Institute, Veterinary College and Hospital, Bircha Munda Cultural Complex, Swami Vivekananda Youth Centre, Dr Bhupen Hazarika Multipurpose Cultural Complex, Gorkha Bhawan and Bodo Art and Cultural Centre among others.

“BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary has also given equal respect to all communities living in BTC and provided them equal opportunity for development,” the CM further said.

“The Accord will further take all the communities forward and help in building a more united and peaceful society,” the CM reiterated.

Speaking on the occasion, BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary said that celebration of the Bodoland Day is not meant for the Bodos alone but also for all communities living in BTC.

He claimed that his administration has almost fulfilled all the promises made to the people and materialised many development projects benefitting the people.

He further said that the latest Bodo Peace Accord is a big achievement as this ended the culture of arms in BTC.

He also promised to expedite rehabilitation measures of the surrendered NDFB militants and urged the government to consider general amnesty for all their cadres irrespective of the nature and intensity of their crimes.

He said that this will give a good signal and as a result, no militant organisation would ever take root in Assam again.

Mohilary also announced to spend around Rs 300 crore from Rs. 1500 crore development fund to be received from the Centre and the state government under the new peace accord for the rehabilitation of the surrendered NDFB militants.

He also welcomed talks with ULFA (I) led by Paresh Baruah and requested the government to take steps to settle their demands.

Coinciding the occasion Chief Minister Sonowal presented Pramod Chandra Brahma Literary Award to writer Tiren Bodo, sports personality award to Thunlai Narzary and Nileswar Brahma Cultural Award to Rahendra Nath Brahma.

He also distributed financial assistance to several SHGs under NRLM and beneficiaries of WPT & BC department.

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