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Won't allow darkness of violence to return: Modi assures Bodos in Assam's Kokrajhar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Assam's Kokrajhar to attend celebrations marking the recently-signed Bodo peace accord.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: February 07, 2020 15:22 IST
PM Modi, Assam, Kokrajhar, Bodo peace accord

PM Modi addresses rally in Assam's Kokrajhar to celebrate Bodo peace accord

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Assam's Kokrajhar to attend celebrations marking the recently-signed Bodo peace accord. Modi's was welcomed by hundreds of Bodo girls who performed the traditional 'Bagurumba' dance.

Modi is addressing a celebratory rally at Jangkritai Fwtar, about 216 km from Guwahati, which will be attended by lakhs of people who started gathering at the venue since early Friday morning.

Key takeaways from Modi's address to Bodos in Assam's Kokrajhar

  • We won't allow the darkness of violence to return. Mothers whose children have returned from the wilderness are blessing me today. So many families have been reconciled. There were gunfights for decades, but the Northeast has finally been freed from it.

  • Last year, National Liberation Front of Tripura and the government signed a pact. This pact was another important step. This organization was banned from 1997 and was using violent ways for years. Our government started conversing with them in 2015 and started building trust with them. After some time, they stopped spreading violence and on 10th August last year, they agreed to follow the Indian Constitution as well. They returned to the Indian mainstream. After this pact, dozens of cadres of NLFT surrendered.

  • The Bru-Reang crisis was also resolved a few days ago after another historic agreement. Thousands of families will now have their residential houses after signing this agreement, bringing an end to a problem that pestered for about 2.5 decades.

  • Projects like Bogibeel Bridge that were hanging for ages have been completed and it has millions of people with connectivity. It increases their trust in the government. 

  • New railway stations, new railway routes, new airports, new waterways, and internet connectivity - the amount of work that is being done today is unprecedented.

  • We're also working on education, skill, and sports for the youth of Northeast. Apart from this, we've also built new hostels for Northeast students in Delhi and Bengaluru. 

  • There are so many rivers and a diverse waterway here in the Northeast. Prior to 2014, there was just one waterway in the entire region. Today, work is going on over 12 waterways.

  • New national highways have been approved. The entire railway network of Northeast has been changed to a broad gauge. New airports are being made and old airports are being modernized at a brisk pace. 

  • In the 13th Finance Commission, all states of Northeast got less than Rs 90,000 crore added together. In the 14th Finance Commission, after we came to power, it was increased to Rs 3 lakh crore. In the last 3-4 years, 3000 km of roads have been built here.

  • Our ministers spent a lot of time here and solved a lot of problems. My government is taking direct feedback and are making the right decisions in sync. 

  • We've ensured that once every 10-15 days, a Central Minister will visit the Northeast, will spend the night, talk to people and solve their problems.

  • Earlier, states of Northeast were looked upon as recipients. Today, they are considered as growth-engines for development. This region was thought to be far from Delhi. Today, Delhi is very close to you & hears you with care.

  • Thousands of Northeast people lived like refugees in their own country in the past. Now, they are being rehabilitated with full facilities. People of India were afraid of coming here at one time. Now, they're pitching it as the next tourist destination. 

  • Before we came to power, most states in Northeast was under the Armed Forces. After we came to power, most regions of Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh are free from AFSPA. 

  • This has helped reduced extremism. Earlier, there were about 1,000 killings in the Northeast due to extremism but today, on an average, the situation is normal and peaceful.

  • The entire issue of Northeast was serious and we worked on it with a new approach. We understood the aspirations and emotional context of different regions of the Northeast. We conversed with them and made them feel one of our own.

  • Political parties used to ignore revolts, blockades, and violent protests. They just contained them, but never solved them. This approach had pushed the people of Northeast so far that they had stopped believing in democracy.

  • Bodo Territorial Council, Assam government and the Central government is now working together and will give 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas, Sabka Vishwas' will be emboldened.

  • The government is now trying to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. I want to assure the people of Assam that after the Committee submits its report, the Central government will act on it swiftly. 

  • Under the Accord, Rs 1500 crore will be given as a special developmental package to help the Bodos. Every right, culture, language, and development will be ensured. Their protection will be ensured.

  • This accord will not only benefit the Bodo people but other societies as well. According to the Accord, BTC's territorial range has been increased and given more power.

  • The Central government, Assam government and people associated with the Bodo movement have signed an Accord that fulfils all demands and development is our main concern hereon.

  • I want to tell the entire country that all demands related to this movement have been approved. The issue has been resolved. 

  • We won't allow the darkness of terrorism to return here. No citizen will die of violence anymore in this region. Mothers whose children have returned from the wilderness are blessing me today. So many families have been reconciled.

  • Today after decades, the road to the development of people and this region has been empowered. I welcome everyone involved in the Bodoland movement to India's mainstream.

  • Mahatma Gandhi used to say that whatever we gain from walking on Ahimsa is accepted by everyone. A lot of people from Assam have accepted peace, ahimsa, and democracy. They have placed the Indian Constitution at its rightful place.

  • There were gunfights for decades. The arrival of peace to Assam is a historic moment. It is a great coincidence that it has happened when the entire country is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. 

  • Today, 130 crore Indians are congratulating you and are thanking you for solving this issue. Today is the day to celebrate the culture, heritage and tradition of the region. 

  • The road for permanent peace has opened up only due to your help and willpower. This is a new opportunity and a new dawn for Assam and the entire Northeast to welcome the 21st century.

  • Today is the day to remember those martyrs who laid down their lives for the country's doing their duty. Today is the day to remember Upendra Nath and Roop Nath Bramha and to pay our respects to them. 

  • At times some leaders talk about beating me with sticks, but I'm saved by the blessings of all mothers of India. I pay my respects and thank all of you. I'm here to instill a new belief in all Assamese people.

  • Some people say that Modi will be hit with rods, but nothing will happen to a person like me who has the blessings of country's mother. 
  • I've seen a lot of rallies in my political and public life, but I have never seen such a massive crowd. This is certainly one of the largest political rallies in India in the post-Independence era.  

The state government earlier said it was expecting around four to five lakh people from the four Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) - Kokrajhar, Udalguri, Chirang and Baksa - and other regions.

Kokrajhar is decked for Modi's trip with banners, festoons and big hoardings seemingly omnipresent to "thank" him for the peace accord.

"Conveying sincere thanks on behalf of the people of Assam for your efforts to bring lasting peace through historic Bodo Peace Accord," said hoardings put up by the state government.

On Thursday night, 70,000 earthen lamps were lit to enhance the celebratory mood. The Prime Minister shared the visual on his Instagram handle.

On January 27, the Centre and the Assam government inked a peace agreement with representatives of Bodo organisations, attempting to put an end to the decades-old Bodo insurgency based on the demand for carving out a separate state.

The tripartite agreement announced by Union Home Minister Amit Shah provides for the economic and political development of Bodos without affecting the territorial integrity of Assam.

The accord is the third Bodo peace agreement to be signed since 1993. The demand for a separate Bodoland is almost five decades old.

As part of the accord, altogether 1,615 cadres of the three factions of separatist organisation National Democratic Front of Bodoland laid down their arms before Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal last week. They deposited 178 arms and 4,893 pieces of ammunition.

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