A tri-partite Karbi Peace Accord is all set to be signed in New Delhi next week. Leaders of 6 rebel groups will be flown to New Delhi for the signing which will be attended by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, CEM of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council Tuliram Ronghang and representatives of the Union Home Ministry.
It is not immediately known whether Union Home Minister Amit Shah will attend the signing ceremony.
After extending the olive branch to the proscribed ULFA-Independent soon after taking charge as Chief Minister and following the issue up with the Centre during his visit to Delhi, Sarma is also bent on resolving other insurgency issues in the state.
Concluding his three-day Delhi visit on Thursday, Sarma informed that a peace accord will be signed with Karbi militant groups anytime next week. Stating that the go ahead has been given from the Assam government side, Sarma said a last round of minor discussion remains with the groups set to sign the accord.
Sarma also informed that he held discussions on the matter with Union Home Secretary and officials of the intelligence bureau.
As per sources, 6 groups, which include 3 factions of the Karbi People’s Liberation Tiger or KPLT, the Songbijit-led People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri or PDCK, the Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front or KLNLF and United People’s Liberation Army or UPLA will sign the peace accord.
The total cadre strength of the outfits taken together will be around 1500.
The United People’s Democratic Solidarity or UPDS, which had signed a peace agreement back in November 2011, will not be part of this arrangement.
The peace accord with the rebel leaders will be signed in Delhi with Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and CEM of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council Tuliram Ronghang as signatories besides representatives of Union Home ministry.
It may be mentioned that over 1,000 rebels, belonging to these outfits had laid down arms at a surrender ceremony in Guwahati back in February this year. Leading the pack was IK Songbijit who has been one of Assam’s most wanted insurgents. A total of 338 weapons including 58 AK-47 rifles were laid down during the official ceremony at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati.
The Karbi insurgency for a separate state of Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills has led to several deaths in the last 2 decades and rendered many homeless. As such, signing of the Karbi Accord involving these key outfits will be significant in Assam’s bid to secure permanent peace in the Hill Districts.