Peace Process in North East
A tripartite Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) was signed on 25.11.2011 between the Central Government, Government of Assam and United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) in the presence of Union Home Minister Shri P. Chidambaram and Assam Chief Minister Shri Tarun Gogoi. The Union Home Minister said that this MoS provide for enhanced autonomy for Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council in Assam and also a special package for speedier socio-economic and educational development of the area. He further stated that Government has always shown its willingness to enter into dialogue with any group, that is willing to abjure the path of violence and place its demand within the framework of the Constitution of India.
The Home Minister Shri P. Chidambaram further said that in the past violence marked the agitation of the UPDS that was intended to attract the attention of the Government towards the backwardness of the Karbi Anglong District. After realizing futility of the violence, in August 2002, UPDS came forward and expressed its willingness to give up violence and seek solution of its problems peacefully within the framework of the Indian Constitution.
In November 2009, in order to speed up the peace process, Government appointed Shri P.C. Haldar as Interlocutor/Government of India’s Representative to negotiate with the UPDS for addressing their grievances. After several rounds of discussion, negotiating team comprising the Representatives of Government of Assam, Ministry of Home Affairs and UPDS finalized tripartite agreement which has been signed. MoS provides for :- ·
- Setting up of a Committee under Assam Legislative Assembly as envisaged under Article 371B of the Constitution of India.
- Renaming of existing Council as Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council (KAATC).
- Increased seats in the Council upto 50 members (of which 6 will be nominated by the Governor) as against the existing 30 seats out of which 4 were to be nominated by the Governor. However, the proposed increase in seats shall be applicable for election to the Council due in 2016-17 or mid-term poll, if any, announced, whichever is earlier;
- Setting up of Village Councils for deepening democratic process at the grass root level.
- Transfer of additional subjects by the State of Assam to the Council along with legislative and executive powers.
- Setting up of State Finance Commission (SFC) and consideration of higher fund allocation to the council to undertake viable activities;
- Strict adherence to established norms of financial management, proper audit of the accounts, etc.
- Additional measures for socio-economic, education, health, and cultural development;
- Special economic package of Rs.350 crore (Rs.70 crore per annum) over and above the Plan Fund over the next 5 years to KAATC for identified projects;
- Improvement of road connectivity, water supply and supply of power in Karbi Anglong District under existing schemes;
- Providing one-time grant for capacity building in KAATC for preparation of DPR etc;
- Rehabilitation of UPDS cadres; Withdrawal of cases relating to heinous crimes shall be reviewed case by case according to existing policy for withdrawal of such cases.
- Action will be taken to implement the MoS and implementation of MoS will be reviewed periodically.