Prime Minister Narendra Modi today thanked the people of the Bodo region, days after the government signed a peace deal with Bodo insurgents. "All of India is thanking you (Bodo tribes) and celebrating with you. It is because you all agreed to living in peace and contribute towards a stronger India," PM Modi said at a mega rally in Assam's Kokrajhar, a Bodo-dominated town.
This is PM Modi's first visit to Assam since the government's big move on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act that triggered protests across the country, including in Assam. Three people were killed in the state in the violence.
"There were gunfights for decades. The arrival of peace in Assam is a historic moment. It is a great coincidence that it has happened when the entire country is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi," the Prime Minister said.
As part of the accord signed on January 27 - aimed at ending the three-decade-old armed conflict in the region - the Bodoland Territorial Region will get a special financial package of Rs 1,500 crore and cases registered against many insurgents will be reviewed. According to the agreement, the centre would expedite 'hills tribe' status to Bodo people living in the hill districts of Assam. The Bodo language, with Devanagari script, will become associate official language for entire of Assam.
The agreement also involves a hefty financial package -- the state government would give Rs 250 crore for 3 years to develop the area. The centre will also add an equivalent amount, bringing the total to Rs 1500 crore.
The funds would be used to set up industry and employment package and promote eco-tourism. Under the socio-cultural package, the government will set up a central university in name of Bodo leader Upendranath and a national sports university.
The other projects will include a regional medical institute, hotel management campus, a Mother Dairy plant, a National Institute of Technology and more Navodaya Vidyalayas.