Assam govt approves ₹160cr rehabilitation package for former Bodo rebels

As per the Bodo peace accord, all the four NDFB factions will abjure violence, surrender their weapons and disband their armed organizations within one month in return.

The Assam government on Monday approved a 160 crore package to rehabilitate 4,036 former cadres of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), one of the main Bodo rebel outfits of the state.

The package was approved by chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma during a meeting in Guwahati to review implementation of the Bodo Territorial Region (BTR) accord signed in New Delhi in January last year with four NDFB factions.

The rehabilitation package will be conceptualised and designed by the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), which administers the four districts that fall in BTR, in association with State Institute for Panchayat and Rural Development.

“Under the programme, skill development training would be imparted to 4,036 NDFB cadres in several parts of BTR for their socio-economic development,” said a state government release.

As per the accord, which is the third one signed after the previous deals in 1993 and 2003, all the four NDFB factions will abjure violence, surrender their weapons and disband their armed organizations within one month in return.

The Central and Assam governments will rehabilitate the cadres of all four factions through measures like a lump sum payment of ex-gratia, funding of economic activities through existing schemes, vocational training and recruitment in government jobs as per eligibility.

The deal also stipulates that criminal cases against NDFB cadres for non-heinous crimes will be withdrawn, but cases involving heinous crimes will be reviewed on a case by case basis as per the existing policy on the issue.

Following the accord, over 1600 cadres belonging to the four factions laid down arms at a ceremony in Guwahati. Many cadres from the outfits had surrendered to government agencies earlier and also after the accord.

Source: Hindustan Times

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