Tezpur: Four months after signing a peace accord with the government, over 46 leaders and cadres of All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA) laid down arms in Assam’s Sonitpur district on Sunday, a police officer said.
The former militants handed over weapons to top district police officers, including the Additional Superintendent of Police (crime) and the Deputy Superintendent of Police (border), at a ceremony in Dhekiajuli.
AANLA was among eight tribal militant organisations based in Assam which had signed peace agreement with the government on September 15, 2022, in New Delhi, in presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, among others.
Among the weapons deposited were eight pistols, six rifles and ammunition, a police officer said.
“More than 46 AANLA members laid down arms. Their ‘president’ D Nayak, who had already surrendered, was also present on the occasion,” he added.
Nayak said the AANLA cadres laid down arms as they believe that the peace accord will be able to protect the rights of the tea tribes and ensure their development.
“We had been waging armed struggle for our rights. The doors for peace talks were opened with the government in January 2012.
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“After several years of negotiations, the agreement was finally signed last year. It ensures that the rights of our community will be protected. Hence, we have also decided to return to the mainstream,” Nayak added.
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