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Over 200 Gorkha, Tiwa militants lay down arms in Assam

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said that only two active insurgent groups now remain in the state, namely the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) and Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO).

Written by Tora Agarwala | Guwahati |
Updated: January 27, 2022 7:41:13 pm
A militant laying down arms in a ceremony in Guwahati. (Photo: Twitter@himantabiswa)

With over 200 militants of the United Gorkha People’s Organisation (UGPO) and Tiwa Liberation Army (TLA) formally laying down arms in a ceremony in Guwahati Thursday, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that only two active insurgent groups now remain in the state, namely the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) and Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO).

“Apart from ULFA-I and KLO, all groups are either in talks with the government or have come overground,” said Sarma, speaking at the ceremony where 169 UGPO and 77 TLA cadres laid down their arms.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma inspects arms laid down by Gorkha and Tiwa militants. (Photo: Twitter@himantabiswa)

He added that January 27 is auspicious because the Bodo Peace Accord was signed with the Centre on this day two years ago. “That was a turning point in the path to peace in Assam. It is for all to see how peace has returned to the Bodo Territorial Region and momentum of development has started there,” he said.

He said that two Bru-Reang groups in the Barak Valley will surrender by next month and added that he was optimistic that both ULFA-I and KLO would join talks in the near future.

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According to news agency PTI, the UGPO and TLA militants deposited 277 firearms of various types, 720 cartridges and grenades.

While the UGPO, born in 2007, claims to represent interests of the Gorkha community in Assam, the TLA, which is of more recent origin, claims to fight for the Tiwa ethnic group.

The Chief Minister also distributed a financial grant of Rs 1.5 lakh each to the 662 former members of extremist groups Rabha National Liberation Front, United People’s Revolutionary Front, National Liberation Front of Bengali, National Santhal Liberation Army and Adivasi Dragon Fighters.

Sarma said that the government is committed to rehabilitate all militants who surrendered before May 10.

He added that all the militants had chosen their paths “for the love of their community”, and to “fulfill their genuine demands”.

“Now is the time to start a revolution not with guns but with hard work and dedication for the economic development of Assam,” he said.

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