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UPDS peace accord signed

By Kalyan Barooah

NEW DELHI, Nov 25 � Karbi militant outfit United People�s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) on Friday sealed an accord with the Centre and Assam Government, paving the way for restoration of peace in the troubled hill district.

The Centre declared a package worth over Rs 2000 crore, while the new set-up would be rechristened as �Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council�.

Celebrations marked the signing of the accord, with the UPDS leaders hailing the deal as �historic�. The outfit had flown in representatives of at least 50 organisations from Karbi Anglong. The tripartite Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) was signed in presence of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. Both the leaders were presented with traditional shawls and Karbi jackets.

UPDS chairman Longsodar Senar, general secretary Haren Singh Bey and two joint secretaries, Kanjan Terang and Surya Rongphar, and self-styled C-in-C Anil Teron signed the accord, while State Home Secretary Jishnu Barua and Joint Secretary (NE) Shambhu Singh signed it on behalf of the State Government and the Centre respectively.

The chairman of the UPDS told newsmen that he was happy at the signing of the accord. �Our long-drawn struggle has come to an end today,� he said.

�We will continue our movement politically and we want a speedy development of Karbi Anglong,� he added.

The new territorial council would be reorganised and four new districts are proposed to be created.

For fulfilment of the main political demand, the UPDS has to wait till 2016-2017 though, when the strength of the proposed territorial council is proposed to go up to 50. The ensuing election, however, would be held according to the existing arrangement of 30 seats. The proposed increase in seats from existing 26 to 44 elected seats and also nominated seats shall be applicable till the subsequent election to the Council due in 2016-17 or mid-term poll, if any, whichever is earlier, said Home Ministry sources.

The State Government has also put its foot down and refused to dissolve the existing Congress-led council, which is on its last leg.

Officials explained that the increasing strength of the Council would call for delimitation of existing constituencies bringing amendment to the Assam Election Commission rules among others. The Tarun Gogoi Government favours an early election sometime in January-February.

The UPDS has been asked to surrender their weapons and disband the militant outfit within a month in view of the approaching elections to the council. The accord, however, has proposed that rehabilitation of UPDS cadres, withdrawal of cases relating to heinous crimes shall be reviewed case by case according to existing policy for withdrawal of such cases.

The new territorial council has been given 39 government departments barring some vital departments such as home, relief and rehabilitation, judiciary and sales taxes among others. The council currently has about 15 government departments.

On the economic front the Council would be entitled to Rs 350 crore including Rs 70 crore per annum over and above the plan allocation.

According to Home Ministry sources, the accord proposes setting up of a committee under Assam Legislative Assembly as envisaged under Article 371B of the Constitution of India, renaming of existing council as Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council (KAATC); increasing seats in the council up to 50 members of which six will be nominated by Governor for more representation.

The accord proposes setting up of village councils for boosting democratic process at the grassroot level, transfer of additional subjects by Assam to the council along with legislation and executive powers.

A State Finance Commission (SFC) has been proposed for consideration of higher fund allocation to the council to undertake viable activity. The Centre has inserted a clause proposing strict adherence to established norms of financial management and proper audit of the accounts.

Special measures for socio-economic, education, health and cultural development have been promised by the Centre.

Improvement of road connectivity, water supply and supply of power in Karbi Anglong district under existing schemes, besides providing one-time grant for capacity building in KAATC for preparation of DPR.

Assuring that implementation of MoS would be reviewed periodically, the Home Ministry has proposed to bring amendments in the relevant paragraphs of the Sixth Schedule. Executive orders will be issued to implement the other provisions of MoS, said official sources.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)

UPDS peace accord signed

NEW DELHI, Nov 25 � Karbi militant outfit United People�s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) on Friday sealed an accord with the Centre and Assam Government, paving the way for restoration of peace in the troubled hill district.

The Centre declared a package worth over Rs 2000 crore, while the new set-up would be rechristened as �Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council�.

Celebrations marked the signing of the accord, with the UPDS leaders hailing the deal as �historic�. The outfit had flown in representatives of at least 50 organisations from Karbi Anglong. The tripartite Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) was signed in presence of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. Both the leaders were presented with traditional shawls and Karbi jackets.

UPDS chairman Longsodar Senar, general secretary Haren Singh Bey and two joint secretaries, Kanjan Terang and Surya Rongphar, and self-styled C-in-C Anil Teron signed the accord, while State Home Secretary Jishnu Barua and Joint Secretary (NE) Shambhu Singh signed it on behalf of the State Government and the Centre respectively.

The chairman of the UPDS told newsmen that he was happy at the signing of the accord. �Our long-drawn struggle has come to an end today,� he said.

�We will continue our movement politically and we want a speedy development of Karbi Anglong,� he added.

The new territorial council would be reorganised and four new districts are proposed to be created.

For fulfilment of the main political demand, the UPDS has to wait till 2016-2017 though, when the strength of the proposed territorial council is proposed to go up to 50. The ensuing election, however, would be held according to the existing arrangement of 30 seats. The proposed increase in seats from existing 26 to 44 elected seats and also nominated seats shall be applicable till the subsequent election to the Council due in 2016-17 or mid-term poll, if any, whichever is earlier, said Home Ministry sources.

The State Government has also put its foot down and refused to dissolve the existing Congress-led council, which is on its last leg.

Officials explained that the increasing strength of the Council would call for delimitation of existing constituencies bringing amendment to the Assam Election Commission rules among others. The Tarun Gogoi Government favours an early election sometime in January-February.

The UPDS has been asked to surrender their weapons and disband the militant outfit within a month in view of the approaching elections to the council. The accord, however, has proposed that rehabilitation of UPDS cadres, withdrawal of cases relating to heinous crimes shall be reviewed case by case according to existing policy for withdrawal of such cases.

The new territorial council has been given 39 government departments barring some vital departments such as home, relief and rehabilitation, judiciary and sales taxes among others. The council currently has about 15 government departments.

On the economic front the Council would be entitled to Rs 350 crore including Rs 70 crore per annum over and above the plan allocation.

According to Home Ministry sources, the accord proposes setting up of a committee under Assam Legislative Assembly as envisaged under Article 371B of the Constitution of India, renaming of existing council as Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council (KAATC); increasing seats in the council up to 50 members of which six will be nominated by Governor for more representation.

The accord proposes setting up of village councils for boosting democratic process at the grassroot level, transfer of additional subjects by Assam to the council along with legislation and executive powers.

A State Finance Commission (SFC) has been proposed for consideration of higher fund allocation to the council to undertake viable activity. The Centre has inserted a clause proposing strict adherence to established norms of financial management and proper audit of the accounts.

Special measures for socio-economic, education, health and cultural development have been promised by the Centre.

Improvement of road connectivity, water supply and supply of power in Karbi Anglong district under existing schemes, besides providing one-time grant for capacity building in KAATC for preparation of DPR.

Assuring that implementation of MoS would be reviewed periodically, the Home Ministry has proposed to bring amendments in the relevant paragraphs of the Sixth Schedule. Executive orders will be issued to implement the other provisions of MoS, said official sources.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)