Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to all-round development of the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) of Assam with both the Centre and the state government fulfilling 90 per cent of the Bodo Accord clauses.
A fresh package of Rs 500 crore will be approved soon for the BTR region which comprises Bodo community majority districts of the North-eastern state, he said.
Seven years ago, the BJP had promised to drive out insurgency from the boundaries of Assam and the home ministry under the guidance of the prime minister has brought most militant outfits to sign peace accords with 9,000 militants having surrendered so far, Shah said here in Tamulpur district in BTR bordering Bhutan.
”It was from the BTR that we had promised to make the region free from insurgency, bomb blasts and gunfights and in such a short time, we have signed peace accords, brought former militants to the mainstream and both the central and the Assam governments have fulfilled 90 per cent of the clauses of the Accord,” he said.
The central government in January 2020 signed an agreement the Bodo Peace Accord – with insurgent group National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) providing political and economic bonanza. Bodo insurgents have been fighting for a separate state for the community since the late 1980s.
During the three years of the accord signing, the government promised a package of Rs 1,500 crore for the development of BTR. However, a special package of Rs 1,980 has been approved by the Centre and the state while an additional package of Rs 500 crore is under consideration and it will be approved soon”, Shah said.
Speaking after the ground-breaking ceremony for a Central Workshop and Stores (CENWESTO) for the Central Armed Paramilitary Force and launch of a centre for Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) here, Shah said that both are examples of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and will provide employment opportunities to youths.
The CENWESTO will be the country’s second such workshop which will be used for supplying weapons to several North-eastern and eastern states and repairing them.
Goods produced from Khadi and Village Industries here will be supplied to 107 canteens of paramilitary forces initially and later to all across the country.
The union home minister, who is on a two-day visit to the state, earlier visited the Mankachar border outpost in South Salmara-Mankachar district along the Indo-Bangladesh border and reviewed the prevailing security situation with senior BSF officials.
On the Bodo people, Shah said, ”We have fulfilled the promises made to the people of BTR and are committed to ensure their social, cultural, economic and political empowerment.
The development of the Bodo language, culture and economy is not the concern of people alone and both the governments are committed to the all-round development of Bodoland, he said.
Referring to BJP leader Biswajit Daimary, Shah said that for the first time since independence, a Bodo leader has become the speaker of the Assam Assembly and ”we are all proud of this”.
Speaking about the CENWESTO-II, he said that Rs 500 crore will be invested in the project and it will cater to the frontiers of West Bengal, North Bengal, Guwahati, Shillong, Manipur, Cachar and Tripura.
It will lead to a savings of Rs 25 crore in supply and repair of weapons along with providing employment opportunities to the people of the region, the union home minister said.
”The KVIC centre not only ensures rural development alone but is also aimed at providing employment opportunities to the unemployed youths, he said.
He urged the Khadi Board authorities to lay emphasis on Assam, particularly the BTR, and link each farmer to the Honey Mission for income generation along with promoting pottery, incense stick production, food processing, woodcraft, footwear, paper and furniture industries.
Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office, there has been a 250 per cent increase in KVIC production and the turnover has increased to Rs one lakh crore, Shah said.
In this way, people who have been affected by long-drawn blood-shed in the region and also those who have given up arms to return to the mainstream can be included in the process of development,” Shah said.