Centre, Assam Gives in to Bodos' Demand for Bodoland, Signs Peace Accord

Reported by

Ashmita BhattacharyaLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

March 31, 2021

Location of Conflict

Kokrajhar

,

Baksa, Udalguri, Chirang

Kokrajhar

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Communal/Ethnic Conflict

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

76000

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

State

Assam

Sector

Land Use

Bodos are the singlelargest ethnic tribe in Assam, making up over five to six per cent of the states population. They started an armed struggle for a separate state called Bodoland in the mid1960s. They formed the Plains Tribal Council of Assam and launched in 1967 a popular movement demanding the new state. However, the PTCA gave up the agitation for a separate homeland after it joined the Janata government in 197879. In 1987, the All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU) renewed the demand, raising the slogan, Divide Assam FiftyFifty. Following an agreement in 1993, Bodoland became an autonomous administrative unit constituted under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India administered by the Bodoland Autonomous Council. While the region faces multiple problems of ethnicity, religion and race, land ownership remains the primary cause of contention. Bodos are one of the most marginalised communities in the state. They often claim to feel alienated and discriminated against and have time and again demanded separation from Assam. In the course of their decadesold movement, land ownership became an important agenda. From the early 90s onwards, Bodo extremist groups started targeting nonBodos, including Muslims, Adivasis, Koch Rajbongshis and others (Assamese Hindus, Bengali Hindus, Nepalis and Biharis) and drove many of them out. Following violent clashes in 2012 between the Bodos and nonBodos, more than 400,000 people were displaced and over 100 were killed. A large number of displaced people have not been able to return to their homes. The lands left behind by them are now being used by influential Bodos. There have been reports of politicians growing rubber plantations on lands that had once belonged to the primitive Bodo tribes. On May 2, 2018, ABSU organised a fiveday National Highway blockade in all Bodoland areas in the state, urging the Centre to resolve the issue. On January 27, 2020, a new peace agreement was signed between the Centre and the Assam government on one side and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, ABSU and United Bodo People's Organisation on the other. Under the terms of this agreement, the boundary of the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous District would be redrawn, and the area would be renamed Bodoland Territorial Region. This would be done by forming new districts. Further, the boundary of the region will be adjusted to include contiguous Bodoinhabited areas from neighbouring districts and exclude nonBodoinhabited territories currently under the jurisdiction of the Bodoland Territorial Council. The process was initiated in September. The government will set up a fourmember commission headed by former Chief Secretary P.P. Verma. It would have a tenure of six months from the day of its formation, Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam's health, finance, PWD and education minister, was quoted in a news report.

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):

ha

Starting Year

1967

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Assam government, Bodoland Territorial Council

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

National Democratic Front of Bodoland, All Bodo Students' Union

Has the Conflict Ended?

Yes

When did it end?

January, 2020

Why did the conflict end?

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
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