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Tripartite agreement with armed tribal groups in Assam

  • Published
    17th Sep, 2022
Context

The Centre and Assam Government recently signed a tripartite agreement with eight armed tribal groups in Assam to bring them into the mainstream and give them political and economic rights.

About

Tribal Groups:

  • 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.
  • The groups are in ceasefire since 2012 and living in designated camps.
  • Except the hardline faction of the banned ULFA, led by Paresh Baruah, and the Kamatapur Liberation Organisation, all other rebel groups active in the state have entered into peace agreements with the government.
  • In January 2022, all cadres belonging to the Tiwa Liberation Army and the United Gorkha People's Organisations surrendered with arms and ammunition.
  • In August 2022, the Kuki Tribal Union militants laid down their arms.

About the Settlement agreement:

  • The major provisions of the agreement included fulfilling political, economic, and educational aspirations.
  • The other objective is protecting, preserving and promoting social, cultural, linguistic and ethnic identities.
  • The agreement also provides for the setting up of an Adivasi Welfare and Development Council by the Government of Assam
  • Necessary measures would be taken for the rehabilitation of cadresof armed groups and for the welfare of tea garden workers.
  • A special development package of ?1,000 crorewould be provided over a period of five years for infrastructure development in Adivasi-populated villages and areas.

Tea Tribes Community

  • There are more than 1000 tea gardens in Assam where workers originally coming from Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal have engaged themselves and subsequently settled in Assam permanently.
  • They are known as Tea and Ex-Tea Garden Tribes, who are recognized as Other Backward Classes by the Government.
  • These people not only constitute a sizable chunk of the population in the State but also play major role in tea production of the State.
  • Economically, they are quite backward and literacy level among these communities is extremely low.
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