The tripartite Karbi Peace accord was signed today at the national capital in the presence of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sharma, former CM Sarbananda Sonowal and representatives of the Karbi outfits. The agreement was signed by the central government, the Assam government, and six insurgent groups active within the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council region. The accord is expected to end violence in the Karbi dominated areas in Assam.
The representatives from all the six Karbi outfits, Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK), three factions of Karbi People’s Liberation Tiger (KPLT) and United People’s Liberation Army (UPLA), signed the accord following detailed discussions with Union Home Ministry officials.
Home minister Amit Shah informed that around 1000 cadres of more than 5 organizations have shunned arms and joined the mainstream today along with the signing of the accord. “Modi government is committed to resolving the decades-old crisis, ensuring the territorial integrity of Assam,” he tweeted.
The home minister added, “From Bru-Reang settlement to the Karbi-Anglong agreement, we’ve completed 80% commitments of the previous 3 agreements and almost 100% of Bodoland”.
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the signing of the Karbi Peace Agreement marked a historic day for Assam.
Around 200 militants, who were part of the 1040 militants who surrendered this year on February 25 before the Assam government, were present at the signing of the peace accord. These militants who surrendered were part of Karbi insurgent groups such as Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK), United People’s Liberation Army(UPLA) and Kuki Liberation Front(KLF). The Karbi insurgency has a long history in Assam which would be remembered for its violent abductions, illegal taxations, etc. from the 1980s.
Armed militancy supported the Karbi insurgency since 1990s. The groups Karbi National Volunteers (KNV) and Karbi People’s force (KPS) united to form the United People’ Democratic Solidarity, the UPDS had entered a ceasefire agreement in 2004. The Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF) was formed out of the UPDS in 2004. The KLNLF entered into a ceasefire agreement in 2010. Later, another outfit called KPLT, Karbi People Liberation Tiger Front, was formed out of KLNF led by Amitabh Hanse who desired to carry on the Karbi armed struggle until the Karbi expectations are not met.
The main demand of the Karbi organisations is a separate Karbi state. At present, the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, an autonomous council under the sixth scheduled of constitution, works for the development and protection of tribals living in the area that includes Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong districts.
The Peace Accord takes place in the backdrop of achieving success in resolving border disputes between Assam and Nagaland, the violent clash at the Assam Mizoram border and border dispute related developments between Assam and the Meghalaya government. The Karbi Peace Accord also follows from the Bodo Peace accord to solve the insurgency problems in the region.