Poll results put Karbi pact in jeopardy: UPDS

January 14, 2012

Spl correspondent
NEW DELHI, Jan 13 – After failing to wrest the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) at the hustings, the disbanded militant outfit UPDS has warned that the tripartite memorandum of settlement (MoS) is in serious jeopardy, warning that they may not be able to hold on to a “failed experiment”.

Stopping short of threatening to walk out of the MoS, signed with much fanfare, former chairman of the militant outfit Longsodar Senar in a strongly worded letter to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has said the ex-UPDS leaders and cadres could no longer be expected to hold on to a failed experiment. The government alone should be responsible for any untoward development after this, Senar warned.

According to sources, the militant outfit has complained about not getting a level-playing field and lack of adequate time to reorganise themselves, besides paucity of funds for the poor showing in the polls. It squarely blamed the Assam Government for their poor performance. The ruling Congress retained control of the KAAC, leaving the Karbi militant groups furious.

The chairman has said that it now appears that the rushed election was a conspiracy to finish off the UPDS and the MoS. The election ensured that the avowed anti-accord forces wrested the seat of power. “The fate of the MoS is, therefore, in serious jeopardy,” he warned.

Stating that they consider the handling of the UPDS case a failure, the former chairman alleged that Government of Assam has wilfully refused to honour the solemn commitment made by the Home Minister regarding ‘neutral administration’ till the polls and a level-playing field during the election.

Senar claimed that on August 23, they were assured of the level-playing field, which encouraged them to sign the accord.

Saying that because he was fully conscious of the fact that the UPDS leaders and cadres needed time to adapt and reorient themselves, they had insisted on an interim government. It was rejected by the government. But once the accord had been signed, the election was rushed through, “obviously with a view to deny us the opportunity to pilot the implementation of the accord,” he alleged.

The Government of Assam was petitioned to grant time to lay down arms and disband the outfit, so that they could participate in the election with a sense of urgency. However, as soon as the arms were laid down and the outfit disbanded, a day later election was announced. It left UPDS with no time to re-organise themselves as a political group. “We were also left penniless to face the elections,” the ex-chief lamented.

“Despite our protest the election was brutally forced on us. Predictably, the results had been disastrous, as electoral politics is altogether a different ball-game,” stated Senar.


UPDS Accord: Then and Tomorrow

December 21, 2011

-Nong-E Terang

The United Democratic Solidarity (UPDS), Karbi insurgent organization had signed so called peace ‘accord’ with Assam and Central Government on 25th of November, 2011 after much drama and speculation. After the Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) is signed it is agreed that election to the present council will be held under state election commission, an amount of Rs. 350 crore (Rs. 70 crore per year) will be given as special economic aid.

But one is tempted to ask – is this all? Is the amount of Rs. 350 crore equal to the amount or rather less than that extorted by the UPDS all those years as an outlaw organisation? KADCC president Mr. Sum Ronghang is very much right in saying that after much violence and bloodshed the UPDS’s only demand was to change the name of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) to Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council (KAATC).

But to begin with, insurgent organizations in Karbi Anglong are the creation of the Congress Party. Their mind was set on creating trouble in peaceful Karbi Anglong district because it was unsuccessful in winning electoral battle against the then Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC). After insurgency started in Karbi Anglong mis-propaganda is carried out as to the purpose of the insurgency and it was campaigned that: For the cause of Autonomous State and supported by ASDC. In the hills of Karbi Anglong, ASDC supporters joined the insurgent organisations in droves. Many of them were dismayed after they came to know that the trouble makers were Congress supports, but it was too late, they were already wanted by the police and security forces.

Now, anti Congress tune humming UPDS is nothing but part of a game plan initiated by the Congress more than 15 years ago to defeat the ASDC. Now the ASDC will bother the Congress no more. What with the ASDC leadership funded and hijacked by the Congress there is nothing left of it. The once solid CPI(ML) in Karbi Anglong is openly split between Robi Kumar Phangcho and Chandra Kanta Terang camps.

Political machanisation is an art of politics but incorporating violence, nepotism, corruption, exploitation and destruction of demography is an art mastered by the Congress. This is going to raise further repercussions in the near future in a continuous manner. This is what the Congress leadership wanted, they will keep exploiting the situation to be in the seat of power.

Presently; what is worrying and facing a bleak future is the cadres of UPDS. A show of laying down arms will be performed on December 14, 2011 at Karbi Anglong Sports Association (KASA), Diphu. Most of the small arms will be kept by the UPDS cadres. Latter this will be used to extort, intimidate and for other unlawful activities. Also, former UPDS cadres with illegal arms will come in handy to Congress leaders as their henchmen.

Most of the UPDS leadership will also join the Congress formally in the near future, as river water joins the sea and ocean one day from where they rise up as steam. The present ASDC leadership will vehemently deny the views expressed above as they are paid Congress workers. As soon as election comes they will barter away their votes for a bonus of cash with the Congress. In such a scenario it is very ironic that a powerful Congress minister like Hemanta Biswa Sarma had very recenty advised ASDC and PAPA leader Elwin Teron to stick to one party to get people’s love, but while saying this he very well knew that Mr. Teron is under Congress payroll!

Note: The view expressed by the author is completely his and it is not necessary that KIN share the same viewpoint. KIN shall not be held responsible for the thoughts and view as expressed by the author.

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.