Troops in North-East would be reduced after Bodoland elections, says Army Chief Naravane

 

 

 

 

Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday said that its forces deployed in the North East for counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism and internal security would be reduced once the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) elections are over. He said that two battalions have already been taken off from such duties.

“Two battalions have already been taken out. Once Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) elections are over, we would reduce more troops. In the next two to two and a half years we would concentrate fully on conventional warfare in North-East rather on counter-insurgency operations,” said Naravane.

Speaking on the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, General Naravane said, “The situation has improved after the abrogation of article 370.”

The Central government on Monday signed a tripartite agreement with the representatives of all factions of the banned organization — National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).

The peace accord was signed in the presence of Home Minister Amit Shah and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, which intends to fulfill key political and economic demands of the NDFB.

Home Minister Shah, while addressing media after signing the agreement said the new development will ensure “a golden future for Assam and for the Bodo people.”

He also stated that around 1550 of NDFB cadres will surrender on January 30.

“Around 1550 cadres along with 130 weapons will surrender on January 30. As the Home Minister, I want to assure all representatives that all promises will be fulfilled in a time-bound manner,” he said.

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, commenting on the development, said that “all stakeholders of Bodo society have signed the agreement, reaffirming territorial integrity of Assam.”

“BTAD will now become the Bodoland Territorial Region,” Sarma added.

This is the third Bodo accord which has been signed in the last 27 years since the movement for a separate Bodoland state commenced in Assam.

The BTC was formed under the 6th Schedule of the Constitution. The demand for a separate state for the Bodos has been going on in Assam for about five decades.

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