This Article is From Jan 28, 2020

Non-Bodos Call The Fresh Bodoland Accord "Discriminatory"

The accord brings to an end the decades-long statehood movement which saw much bloodshed.

The tripartite agreement was signed by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal


Non-Bodo groups in the Bodoland region of Assam have decided to oppose the fresh Bodo peace deal that was signed on Monday in New Delhi, since they find it "discriminatory" the way the accord was finalised without consulting the non-Bodo communities who constitute close to 70 per cent of Bodoland's population. 

"This area where the new accord will be applicable is not a Bodo dominated area, Bodoland is a mix bag of communities. To not to listen to the majority voice and to do an accord only hearing the Bodos is not correct. If the centre had to do a deal they should have included all communities since all want peace. We want these rebels who surrendered to be part of mainstream but our voice needs to be heard as well," said Naba Kumar Sarania, a former ULFA commander and two-time Lok Sabha MP from the Kokrajhar constituency that comprises of the districts under the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD). 

Mr Sarania, who has recently formed a new political party in a bid to unite all the non-Bodo community in the area, also alleged that the centre has "listened" to those who "take up arms."

The election for the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) that administers the four districts under the BTAD will take place in April this year. The Bodoland Peoples' Front (BPF) led by BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary has been ruling since 2003 and is expected to face a major challenge on this in the council from the Non Bodos. 

The BPF is an ally of the BJP and part of the Sarbananda Sonowal government in Assam. 

"This is a political move since the Bodoland council election was nearing. BJP ally BPF would have lost. BJP wants unrest and fights here so that it can do politics over it. If we find non-Bodos being discriminated against, we will fight them and finish them politically," Mr Sarania added. 

While the Bodos enjoy 75 per cent reservations in BTC, they make slightly above 30 per cent of the total population, rest are non-Bodos. 

Several non-Bodo groups have called for 'indefinite' agitations in the area against the fresh accord. 

"Whatever the accord be, we will not accept it and continue to agitate because in the past this was part of the Kamatapur kingdom, we are more aboriginal then the Bodos," said prominent leader of the Koch Rajbongshi community. They have also demanded a separate Kamatapur state comprising of parts of North Bengal and parts of Bodoland.