The Centre and Assam Government on Thursday signed a tripartite agreement with eight armed tribal groups in Assam to bring them into the mainstream and give them political and economic rights.
The groups that signed the agreement are Birsa Commando Force (BCF), Adivasi People’s Army (APA), All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA), Adivasi Cobra Military of Assam (ACMA) and Santhali Tiger Force (STF).
The remaining three outfits are splinter groups of BCF, AANLA, and ACMA.
Addressing representatives of the tribal groups afterward, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said: “We will sincerely follow everything in our agreement. The Narendra Modi government has a record that almost 93 per cent of all promises made in various agreements have been implemented. All these agreements have established peace in various regions of the Northeast.”
He said, “Today we take the responsibility of fulfilling political, educational and economic aspirations of the tribal people in Assam. This agreement is intended to not just protect but strengthen your social, cultural, linguistic and community-based identity.”
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said people from tribal communities in the state were struggling for their rights for years and some had picked up the gun. “In 2007, all these groups signed a ceasefire agreement with the Centre,” he said. “But we could not achieve a permanent solution to the issue. Through this agreement, I believe, they will get justice.” Sarma said 1,182 people who had picked up guns will now join the mainstream through this agreement. “I promise you we will sincerely implement whatever is written in the accord,” he added.