The Centre is set to sign a tripartite “Karbi Peace Accord” on Saturday and the agreement is expected to be signed in presence of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and the representatives of Karbi outfits here in the national capital, sources said.
The accord is expected to be signed at the North Block office of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the afternoon.
The accord is significant as the insurgency by Karbi — a major ethnic community of Assam — groups, dotted by several factions and splinters, has had a long history in Assam, marked by killings, ethnic violence, abductions and taxation since the late 1980s.
It is learnt that nearly 200 Karbi militants, who were part of those 1,040 militants surrendered before the Assam government on February 25 this year, will be present during the signing of the agreement, said sources.
These surrendered militants are learnt to have arrived in Delhi and are staying at different hotels.
Assam Chief Minister will be in New Delhi by late Friday night to participate in the tripartite peace accord.
A total of 1,040 militants of five insurgent groups of Karbi Anglong district ceremonially laid down arms at an event in Guwahati on February 25 in the presence of then Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, a development which further bolsters the ‘terrorism-free Assam’ image of the current BJP-led government. Among the surrendered militants was Ingti Kathar Songbijit, a primary accused in multiple cases of militancy and ethnic violence in the state.
The surrendered militants belong to Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK), United Peoples Liberation Army (UPLA) and Kuki Liberation Front (KLF).
They submitted a total of 338 weapons, including 8 light machine guns with 11,203 bullets, 11 M-16 rifles and 58 AK-47 rifles.
The militants of the five organisations had come to surrender their weapons after a year when the BJP signed the Bodo Peace Accord to end the long-run violence in Bodoland. The Bodoland region is an autonomous territorial region that is administered by the elected body – Bodoland Territorial Council. The Bodo Accord was first signed in 2003 to maintain peace in the region, later it was extended by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government in 2020.
These outfits originated from the core demand of forming a separate state. The Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) is an autonomous district council, protected under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
The Karbi National Volunteers (KNV) and Karbi People’s Force (KPF) came together to form the United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) in the late 1990s. In November 2011, UPDS gave up arms and signed a tripartite memorandum of settlement with the Centre and the Government of Assam, settling for enhanced autonomy and special packages for the KAAC. The then general secretary of the UPDS, Horen Sing Bey, is now the BJP MP from the Autonomous District Lok Sabha constituency.