Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma | File photo

A total of 1,182 cadres from five Adivasi militant groups namely Adivasi Cobra Militant of Assam (ACMA), Birsa Commando Force (BCF), All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA), Adivasi People’s Army (APA) and Santhal Tiger Force (STF) laid down over 300 weapons before Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on July 6.

This was during an arms laying down ceremony held at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati.

The cadres deposited 304 sophisticated arms including seven AK series rifles, 20 point 303 rifles, four SLRs (self-loading rifles), four carbines, two G3 rifles, one INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) rifle, one LMG (light machine gun), 124 pistols, 30 semi-automatic rifles, 1460 rounds of ammunition, 10 IEDs (improvised explosive device), two kilograms of RDX, 20 grenades and 2.5 kg of TNT (Trinitrotoluene).

Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Union minister Rameswar Teli, Lok Sabha MP Pallab Lochan Das, Rajya Sabha MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, Assam minister Sanjoy Kishan, representatives of eight Adivasi groups as well as senior officers from Union ministry of home affairs and the Assam government were present at the occasion.

Speaking at the occasion, Sarma said: “Assam makes another leap towards peace. A warm welcome to the 1,182 members of various Adivasi insurgent outfits who abandoned the path of violence and joined prime minster Narendra Modi’s mission of peace and progress in the Northeast.”

To facilitate the rehabilitation of the militants who laid down their arms on July 6, the Assam chief minister said: “We have taken various decisions to continue works for the development of the Adivasi community. The 1182 cadres who laid down their arms will be paid Rs 4 lakh in fixed deposit. The state government will provide Rs 6,000 per month to each cadre for three years.”

In the ceremony, Assam DGP GP Singh said that 1,600 arms including 500 automatic series rifles have been seized in the state in the last two years.

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