As many as 169 members of the United Gorkha People’s Organisation (UGPO) and 77 members of Tiwa Liberation Army (TLA) surrendered their arms in Assam on January 27.
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today attended the ceremonial arms laying down by members of the Gorkha and Tiwa militant groups at the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati.
The chief minister also distributed financial grant of Rs 1.5 lakh each to 662 former members of extremist groups RNLF, UPRF, NLFB, NSLA and ADF.
Welcoming the surrendered militants back to mainstream society, the chief minister said that sincere efforts are being made to bring permanent peace to Assam under the leadership of prime minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah.
“January 27 is a historic day as it was on this day in 2020 Bodo Peace Accord was signed in New Delhi. It is for all to see how peace has returned to BTR and momentum of development has started there,” he said.
Saying that peace settlement with ethnic extremist groups can only be achieved through dialogue as proved by recent examples, Sarma called on ULFA (I) & KLO, two remaining major extremist groups, to come forward and sit in peace talks with Government of India.
He also reiterated the government’s commitment to rehabilitate all surrendered militants by May 10 and make them integral parts of the society.
“The surrendered militants must engage in entrepreneurship and agriculture to lead a dignified life and make meaningful contributions to Assam’s progress. They have to utilise the financial grant judiciously for livelihood and generating employment. We are embracing the misguided youths who have come back home and expect them to utilise their vigour and strength to build a strong Assam,” the chief minister said.
Calling on the surrendered militants to never move back to the path of violence, the Assam chief minister said they all had started on that path for the love of their race and to fulfil their genuine demands. Now is the time to start a revolution not with guns but with hard work and dedication for economic development of Assam. They must join hands to achieve the target of making the state self-reliant in agriculture and fulfil all its requirements, he asserted.
He also said that government would call those who become successful in their new lives to generate employment opportunities and help in state’s economic progress to felicitate them so that they can be examples for others.