Guwahati: In one of the largest surrender ceremonies, 644 ultras belonging to eight different outfits from various parts of Northeast India laid down their arms at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) auditorium in Guwahati, Assam on Thursday.
Of the 644 militants, 50 are from United Liberation Front of Assam-Independence (ULFA-I); eight from National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB); six from Kamatapur Liberation Organization (KLO); 13 from Rava National Liberation Front (RNLF) and one from Communist Party of India- Maoist (CPI-M). Among the highest number of ultras surrendered, 301 are from National Liberation Front of Bengali (NLFB), 178 from Adivashi Dragon Fighter (ADF) and 87 from National Santhal Liberation Army (NSLA).
During the ceremony, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, “When the BJP came to power, our government aimed at making Assam a militant-free state, foreigner free state.” He also emphasised on bringing peace to the state.
Sonowal added, “I request my rebel brothers to set up their mind and heart for the uplift of the state and nation. And all of the cadres present here are full human resource and we have to use all these abilities in the uplift of the country as one of the developed nation under the leadership of PM Modi.”
He also mentioned about Swavalamban scheme which is already functioning in the state for providing economic establishment for the surrendered cadres, among others. Under this scheme, surrendered militants receive training involving various skills.
In his speech, Assam chief secretary Kumar Sanjoy Krishna said, “When you cadres have come down to the mainstream and go for peace talks, our state Assam can move ahead for a rapid development. There are many schemes under state government for rehabilitation of surrendered militants.”
Jishnu Baruah, additional chief secretary, said with a warning that there are several full settlement schemes available for the cadets from the state and the Centre, but if any cadre is found involved in any kind of militant activity, then they will be put out of the full settlement.
Addressing the former rebels, Assam director general of police (DGP) Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta also termed it a historic day for Assam.
Also, the insurgent members deposited a total of 177 arms, 1,686 ammunition, 1.93 kg of explosives, 52 grenades, 71 bombs, three rocket launcher cells, 58 ammunition, 17 khukuris, two RT sets and 306 detonators.