Over the years, endless corruption, mismanagement of funds, and failure to devolve power to the people has completely jeopardised the unique Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC), leading to the rise of Karbi insurgency.
The Centre must reiterate its commitment to uphold the Constitutional provisions enshrined in Article 371, expand the scope of the Sixth Schedule, and empower the autonomous council institutions in the North-East.
To prevent the recurring violence in Bodo areas, establish a land record system, improve the presence of both the state civil administration and the law enforcement agencies, and collate credible data on the flow of migrants.
If the larger goal is to understand the challenges of the North East, it would require a strong national narrative which reconciles its many identities and adds to the peace process. Till development in the North East is achieved the stereotypes will continue to gain traction in policy approaches.
It is imperative that the government immigration agencies generate reliable verified data on the number of people coming in from Bangladesh into Assam. It is also the government’s constitutional obligation to maintain the veracity of electoral rolls listing only citizens with the right to vote.
The recent violent incidents carried out by the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) in the sensitive eastern and north-eastern parts India have serious security implications. Conscious intervention of the centre in concert with the state governments of West Bengal and Assam and even Sikkim, as well as with cooperation of the Bhutan government is required at the earliest.
The need of the hour is to activate a clean and transparent record keeping of land by the state so that violence based on the fear of outsiders forcibly taking away the most precious commodity, land, can be effectively averted.