Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Assam okays ₹160cr to rehabilita­te NDFB cadres

- Utpal Parashar

The Assam government on Monday approved a ₹160 crore package to rehabilita­te 4,036 former cadres of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), one of the main Bodo rebel outfits of the state.

The package was approved by chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma during a meeting to review implementa­tion of the Bodo Territoria­l Region (BTR) accord signed in January last year with four NDFB factions.

The rehabilita­tion package will be conceptual­ised and designed by the Bodoland Territoria­l Council (BTC), which administer­s the four districts that fall in BTR, in associatio­n with State Institute for Panchayat and Rural Developmen­t.

“Under the programme, skill developmen­t training would be imparted to 4,036 NDFB cadres in several parts of BTR for their socio-economic developmen­t,” said a state government release.

As per the accord, which is the third one signed after the previous deals in 1993 and 2003, all the four NDFB factions will abjure violence, surrender their weapons and disband their armed organizati­ons within one month in return.

The Central and Assam government­s will rehabilita­te the cadres of all four factions through measures like a lump sum payment of ex-gratia, funding of economic activities through existing schemes, vocational training and recruitmen­t in government jobs as per eligibilit­y.

The deal also stipulates that criminal cases against NDFB cadres for non-heinous crimes will be withdrawn, but cases involving heinous crimes will be reviewed on a case by case basis as per the existing policy on the issue.

Following the accord, over 1600 cadres from four factions laid down arms at a ceremony in Guwahati. Many cadres from the outfits had surrendere­d to government agencies earlier and also after the accord.

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