PAPA criticizes Congress

February 6, 2011

From a Correspondent

DIPHU, Feb 6: “The People’s Alliance for Peace Agreement (PAPA) is meant for peace in the hills districts of Assam and for this we must have to root out corruption and bring down prices. To achieve this we have to throw out the corrupt Congress regime,” said Sai Ding-eh, chairman, PAPA today. He was addressing as the chief guest in a public meeting at Bokajan town. He also charged the Congress with trying to tarnish the image of PAPA.

He further said that PAPA will strive to build a Karbi Anglong where people will leave in peace and harmony irrespective of their caste, creed or religion and work for the all round development of the district.

Addressing the meeting, Jagat Sing Engti, MLA said: “It is the Congress way of misleading the masses by saying those who came after 1951 will have to leave the district after signing of the peace accord.” He clarified that not 1951 but after 2011 too an Indian citizen will have the right to reside in the district even after the implementation of Article 244 (A) of the Constitution. The public meeting was presided over by Rajendra Rongpi, senior ASDC leader. The meeting was also graced by a host of ASDC and PAPA dignitaries including Elwin Teron, Ramsingh Tokbi, Roland Killing, Ram Teron and others.


UPDS ire over police

January 30, 2011

From a Correspondent

DIPHU, Jan 29: The leadership of United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) expressed anger following the police atrocities on UPDS cadres at its upper Deopani designated camp at around 11 am led by Officer In-charge of Borpathar PS today. It is learnt that the police had gone to upper Deopani designated camp to shift the inmates as per the direction by Anurag Agarwal, Superintendent of Police, Diphu. Meanwhile, the UPDS cadres strongly resisted the move adopted by the police which led to confrontation between both the parties. While addressing a hurriedly convened press conference, Lengbat Engleng, defence secretary of the outfit strongly condemned the Borpathar police action and said that the upper Deopani designated camp is one of the Central Government’s notified camps. Mentioning the recent violence triggered by KPLT, the UPDS defence secretary vehemently denied its link with the KPLT. “Our 13 cadres had fled from the upper Deopani designated camp due to the atrocities of Borpathar police in the month of September, 2010 and they are still afraid to come back,” he said adding that the SP will be held responsible for any eventuality in the future.


UPDS Leaders given a flowery welcome in the hills of Assam

January 4, 2011

Photo : Thekar Arnivang.

UPDS Leaders were given a warm welcome after coming back from New Delhi. UPDS and the Govt. of India are going to soon sign a Peace accord.


Decks cleared for UPDS accord

December 25, 2010

Spl Correspondent
NEW DELHI, Dec. 23 – Decks have been cleared for signing of a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with Karbi militant outfit United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS), with all the three sides today giving their seal of approval to the draft accord.
The contentious issue of demarcation of the boundary of the proposed Karbi Autonomous Territorial Council (KATC) has been amicably resolved with the militant group staging a climb down from its rigid position, in the face of stiff opposition from the State Government.

The deal was clinched after hectic round of tripartite talks on Thursday. Today was the second consecutive day of negotiations.

UPDS has been insisting on restructuring of the existing boundary by including some territories of at least four districts. But the State Government refused to redraw the boundary fearing a massive upheaval ahead of the Assembly polls.

The draft agreement would now be ratified by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), which is headed by the Prime Minister and also approved by the State Cabinet. The accord signing ceremony is likely in January.

The UPDS would give the people of Karbi Anglong a New Year gift, a senior office-bearer said, describing the event as historic.

An achievement of sorts for the UPDS is that the State Government has agreed to hand over 65 departments to the proposed territorial council. The haggling over the State government department was one of the reasons for the impasse.

UPDS had sought 66 departments, including the home and Judiciary. Till yesterday, the State Government had agreed to hand over 64, but at the Thursday’s meeting, it agreed to hand over judiciary, leaving out Home Department.

As reported, the existing Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) is likely to be rechristened as Karbi Autonomous Territorial Council (KATC) and the proposed territory will be governed by Karbi Anglong Territorial Authority (KATA).

Today’s talks were led by government’s interlocutor PC Haldar and also included Joint Secretary (North-east) Shambhu Singh, while the State Government’s team included top bureaucrat KD Tripathi, Commissioner Home, Jishnu Barua and Additional DG (Special Branch), Khagen Sarma.

The five-member UPDS delegation included general secretary S Bey and joint secretary (political affairs) W Mukrang.

The government has already agreed to grant amnesty to UPDS leaders and cadres though it has refused to dilute the role of the Council of Ministers (CoMs), said sources.


Centre may seal UPDS deal soon

December 24, 2010

Spl Correspondent
NEW DELHI, Dec 22 – In a race against time, hectic negotiations are on to seal a deal by the Centre with the United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) ahead of New Year. Tripartite talks on Tuesday remained inconclusive though negotiations are likely to resume tomorrow.
In what could be the first success story for Centre’s interlocutor P C Haldar, signing of an accord with the UPDS is likely within the next couple of days, tentatively soon after the Christmas celebrations, as all the three parties have managed to narrow down their differences.

A five-member delegation of the UPDS led by general secretary S Bey and joint secretary (political affairs) W Mukrang has been camping in the capital since last couple of days meeting senior officials of the Home Ministry and government’s interlocutor informally.

On Tuesday, the three sides held a marathon session at a five star hotel here to iron out the differences. Those who attended the talks included Haldar, Joint Secretary (North-east) Shambhu Singh, while the State Government was represented by senior official K D Tripathi, Commissioner Jishnu Barua, Additional DG, Khagen Sarma.

Sources said the State Government has opposed the main demand for an autonomous State under Article 244 A of the Constitution. The State Government though has agreed to convert the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) into Karbi Autonomous Territorial Council (KATC) under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. The KAAC may be called the Karbi Autonomous Territory (KAT) after amending the Sixth Schedule.

The differences over the demand for creation of new districts have also not been sorted out, as State Government is reluctant to concede to the demand for change of boundaries. The geographical area of the proposed council is yet to be agreed upon, he added.

UPDS is demanding creation of new geographical boundaries by including territories of four districts of Assam including the Nagaon and North Cachar Hills districts within the proposed autonomous council. A political map was submitted along with the charter of demands by UPDS. This, said sources, is being opposed by the State Government apprehending future problems.

There are certain proposals of UPDS, which the State Government has opposed, while there were others which the Centre has objected to. Further, UPDS has not agreed to accept the counter-proposals offered by the government, said sources in the Home Ministry.

The Centre and State Government have opposed dilution of the role of the Council of Ministers by amending the Sixth Schedule. On the relation with the Governor, the UPDS charter of demands the Council of Ministers has the right to advise the Governor under Article 163. Under Para 20BA of the Sixth Schedule, the Governor is to required to consult the Council of Ministers.

Both the Centre and State Government have agreed to the demands for granting general amnesty to all UPDS leaders and cadres.

The proposed KAT is likely to be a 55-member council with 45 seats reserved for Karbis, five seats for other indigenous tribes and five seats in general category.

The UPDS has demanded that the election to the proposed council would be conducted by the Election Commission of India, not by the Assam Election Department. The UPDS has also demanded introduction of inner-line permit system.


‘Government has agreed to Karbi Autonomous Territorial Council’

December 19, 2010

(Source : The Sentinel, Assam)

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Dec 8: United People’s Development Solidarity (UPDS) political secretary W Mukrang said that the Centre, the Assam Government and the UPDS had, in principle, agreed to convert the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) into Karbi Autonomous Territorial Council (KATC) and replace the name Karbi Anglong with Karbi Autonomous Territory (KAT).

Talking to The Sentinel, Mukrang said: “We had a discussion with Centre’s peace interlocutor PC Haldar and representatives of the Assam Government to convert the KAAC into KATC and replace the name Karbi Anglong with KAT. They have, in principle, agreed to this demand. The Assam Government has already sent a proposal in this regard to the Centre. We have accepted this alternative structure of governance — that is, maximum autonomy not out of compulsion but seeking an honourable and respectable interim solution between the existing council and the State.”

Mukrang, however, added: “Our demand for Statehood still remains, but till that happens, we are going in for such an alternative structure for the sake of development of Karbi Anglong. We are going in for such an arrangement because Karbi Anglong is lagging much behind economically.”

On the would-be anatomy of the KATC, Mukrang said: “It will be a 55-member council with 45 seats reserved for Karbis, five seats for other indigenous tribes and five seats open for all. The election of the KATC will be conducted by the Election Commission of India, not by the Assam Government’s Election Department. In order to prevent infiltration into the hill district, inner-line permit system will be implemented.” The official language of the KATC, according to Mukrang, will be English till such time as it can be replaced by Hindi. “The imposition of the Assam Official Language Act, 1961, the use of Assamese in official documents such as land pattas, electoral rolls etc and Assamese language as the medium of instruction in government schools or government-aided schools in Karbi Anglong have to be withdrawn with immediate effect,” Mukrang said, and added: “We aren’t satisfied with the existing KAAC as it has utterly failed to develop Karbi Anglong. In the new structure, we shall get more funds. Our priority is to solve the problem of unemployment. The KAAC has failed to create any new posts despite scope. Under the KATC, we shall have our own reservation and recruitment policy. The KATC itself will be the appointing authority, not the State Government.”

On the relation with the Governor, the UPDS charter of demands says: “The Council of Ministers, through its rights to advise the Governor under Article 163, incessantly interferes in the normal executive/legislative functions of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC), thereby undermining its governance and functioning. Under para 20BA of the Sixth Schedule, the Governor is, while exercising his discretion, required to consult the Council of Ministers. Experience has shown this to be the case; and through this constitutional instrument, the plain leaders of Assam always kept the politics of the hill/tribal areas under their control deceptively, which contradicts the administrative autonomy granted to them in the Sixth Schedule. This needs to be resolved once and for all by either amending Article 163 or by removing the words ‘the Council of Ministers’ from para 20BA in the Sixth Schedule.”

Other demands of the outfit are granting of general amnesty to all UPDS leaders, cadres, associates and sympathizers, withdrawal of cases against them, and special recruitment for UPDS cadres in the armed forces.

“Our demands for Statehood are within the framework of the Constitution. We appeal to the people of the State to appreciate our demand for a peaceful solution of the Karbi Anglong problem, ” he added.

 

http://www.sentinelassam.com/mainnews/story.php?sec=1&subsec=0&id=56215&dtP=2010-12-09&ppr=1


Peace accord on Karbi Anglong in sight; settlement formula worked out

December 19, 2010

Guwahati, 19 Dec : The insurgent United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) of central Assam’s Karbi Anglong district, the Centre and the Assam government are inching towards inking a peace accord. The three sides are expected to freeze the settlement formula when the militant outfit holds the crucial next round of formal peace talks with Centre’s interlocutor P.C. Haldar in Delhi on December 22. The frozen settlement formula will form the basis of the peace accord to be signed to pave the way for UPDS to lay down arms and return to the mainstream, to usher in permanent peace in the hill district. A few hours before they left for Delhi, on Saturday, for the next round of peace talks, the UPDS general secretary Haren Sing Bey, joint secretary (political affairs) Wojaru Mukrang and joint secretary (home affairs) Surjya Rongphar told The Hindu here that they hope to freeze the settlement formula which the three sides have already agreed on. The three-member UPDS negotiating team will be assisted by Karbi intellectuals Elvin Teron and Dharam Sing Teron in the next round of peace talks.

Key points

Some key points which they have agreed on are: the present Karbi Anglong district to be replaced with a new territorial entity to be known as Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territory (KAAT) under the amended provisions of Sixth Schedule. The proposed territory shall have three revenue and administrative districts — East Karbi Anglong, Central Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong with headquarters at Koilamati, Singhason and Hamren respectively. The proposed territory will be governed by Karbi Anglong Territorial Authority (KATA). The KATA shall have 50 seats of which 45 will be reserved for Scheduled Tribes, five will be open, and five seats will be filled through nominations.

Three conditions

Mr. Mukrang said the insurgent outfit agreed to freeze the settlement formula on three conditions. Firstly, the demand for statehood to be pressed in a democratic and peaceful manner; secondly whenever the State Re-organization Commission (SRC) or any commission to examine the Statehood demands of various organisations is constituted by the Government of India, the Karbi Anglong demand for statehood shall also be included as one of the terms of reference; the third condition is that immediately after concluding this settlement, the present Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) shall be dissolved to make way for the UPDS to lay down arms and whose nominees shall form an interim body to manage and supervise a substantive re-organisation of the KATA within the framework of the amended Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

‘Massive support’

Mr. Teron said the armed struggle of the UPDS is rooted in democratic mass movements by Karbi people for statehood and therefore peace parleys between UPDS and the government have massive public support of all communities of Karbi Anglong. In January 2010, the Peoples’ Alliance for Peace Agreement (PAPA) was formed by 56 front organisations of political parties, students, women, cultural and political formations.

To pressurise government

Mr. Teron, who is also the general secretary of PAPA, said this umbrella body representing all communities has been mobilising popular opinion across Karbi Anglong by holding massive public rallies to put pressure on the government for an early, acceptable and honourable peace accord. The UPDS was formed in 1999 in a merger of the erstwhile Karbi People’s Front (KPF) and Karbi National Volunteers (KNV) formed in 1994. The UPDS entered into a ceasefire agreement with the government in 2002 and holding negotiations with the government since then.

 

( Source : http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article961519.ece)