On December 7, 2003, amid tumult, excitement and delight, a large gathering watched history being
On December 7, 2003, amid tumult, excitement and delight, a large gathering watched history being made at Kokrajhar. On that crisp winter morning, as Bodo musicians played the flute and dhol and brightly as attired young women swayed to the rhythm of traditional dances, Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani watched the swearing in of the interim Executive Council of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in Assam.
Sri Advani has especially flown in for the occasion after Bodo Liberation Tiger (BLT) leaders baid a farewell to arms and cemented a negotiated settlement with the Government of India by
committing themselves to a democratic way of life. Sri Advani called on other militant groups especially the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) to follow the example ste by the BLT, which had renounced violence and embraced peace with justice and development through a democratic process. The meeting was attended by Dr. C. P. Thakur, Minister, DoNER, Sri Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister of Assam and Governor of Assam, LT. Gen (Rtd) Ajai Singh.
The Bodo Liberation tigers, formed on June 18, 1996 — had earlier pledged to fight for a separate state out of Assam, but within the Indian Union, through an armed struggle. The demand for s separate state for Bodos was launched for the first time in 1986 by the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) which culminated in the Bodo accord in 1993, after much social unrest, violence and disruption. The 1993 accord led to the creation of the Bodoland Autonomous Council (BAC). However, BAC failed to fully meet the aspirations of Bodos and ABSU again lunched an agitation denouncing the accord and demanding creation of a separate state. The BLT also indulged in a few acts of violence during this period. But these difficulties did not deter the National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre from making fresh efforts to settle the Bodo issue.