Accord will truncate rights of non-Bodo indigenous groups: Manch  

GUWAHATI: Contrary to the government’s claims of the Bodo peace accord bringing a final and comprehensive solution, anti-influx forum, Prabajan Virodhi Manch believes that the accord would instead truncate the rights of non-Bodo indigenous communities in Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD).

Manch convener, Upamanyu Hazarika on Wednesday said the third accord in three decades, while fulfilling the aspirations of a major ethnic community is welcome, particularly those who have borne the brunt of Bangladeshi aggression.

“However the Accord will create more problems, than resolving any further. The rights of non-Bodo indigenous communities, who have not been taken on board for consultations before the tripartite pact was inked, would be truncated,” Hazarika said.

He said that any accord has to necessarily be in consultation and agreement with all the affected indigenous communities.

“A unilateral accord with one to the exclusion of the others will create new tension. The need is to address the aspirations of the non-Bodo indigenous communities in BTAD, by reversing the discrimination faced by them and having equal political and other rights,” the Manch convener said.

“Any policy aimed at advancement of any one community is bound to have implications for the co-existing ones and which is today the case with BTAD areas,” he added.

Hazarika further said that rather than enhancing the powers of the Bodoland Territorial Council, the need was to review the working of the Council established in 2003.

“The indigenous non-Bodo population has been reduced to second-class citizens after the establishment of this Council, by reserving 25 out of the 40 seats in the Council for Bodos who comprise only 27 per cent of the BTAD population,” he said.

The BTC executive council, he said, has two non-tribal members out of 14, who do not belong to any of the indigenous communities.

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