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Assam: Over 1K cadres of 5 Adivasi extremist groups lay down arms

Assam: Over 1K cadres of 5 Adivasi extremist groups lay down arms
Photo Credit : IANS

Guwahati: The members of five Adivasi extremist groups in Assam along with the factions of three other outfits on Thursday laid down their arms in the presence of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma during a programme here.

Altogether, 1,182 cadres of eight groups laid down their arms which included 304 sophisticated arms and 1,460 rounds of ammunition, according to an official statement.

On the occasion, Sarma issued a fresh appeal to the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) for talks.

The extremist groups that laid down their arms are ACMA (Adivasi Cobra Military of Assam) and ACMA factional group, AANLA (All Adivasi National Liberation Army) and AANLA factional group, BCF (Bircha Commando Force) and BCF factional group, APA (Adivasi People’s Army) and STF (Santhal Tiger Force).

It may be noted that these Adivasi extremist organisations surrendered before the government on January 24, 2012 and later on signed the agreement of Suspension of Operation (SoO) on 4 October, 2016.

Since the signing of the SoO agreement, several rounds of talks have taken place between these groups and the government.

Subsequently, on September 15, 2022, the Adivasi Accord was signed between these groups and the Centre and the Assam government.

After the signing of the Adivasi Accord and in pursuance of Clause 3 of the Accord, on May 22, 2023, the Assam government constituted a 16-member Adivasi Welfare and Development Council. signing

Speaking at the programme, Sarma said: “Our efforts of bringing all disgruntled elements to the peace process has yielded dividends as eight Adivasi extremist groups laid down their arms to come to the mainstream of the society. It is an important day for strengthening peace in Assam and taking along everybody on board towards the forward march of the state.”

The Chief Minister also appealed to ULFA (I) for talks.

He said: “In Assam, when all the militant groups have come overground, ULFA should also come for talks in the interest of all sections of the people of the state.”

For rehabilitation, Sarma announced Rs 4 lakh each for all the cadres.

The amount will be fixed deposited, as the cadres will be able to take a loan of upto Rs 3 lakh against the fixed deposit amount.

He also said that the government will also give Rs 6,000 monthly to each of the cadres for three years to help them towards self-employment.

He also asked them not to be carried away by any external stimulus and refrain from taking arms in their hands again.

The Chief Minister also paid tributes to those who lost their lives during the armed struggle of the Adivasis.

The Chief Minister also congratulated the 16-member Adivasi Welfare and Development Council on taking the oath.

He said that considering a series of steps that the state government has been taking for the socio-economic, cultural and academic empowerment of the tea and Adivasi community, the Council has a larger role to play.

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