GUWAHATI- Altogether 1182 cadres of various Adivasi insurgents outfits, which had signed a peace agreement with the central and Assam governments, on Thursday formally deposited their arms to Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma here.
The representatives of outfits, including three breakaway factions, deposited their arms to the chief minister at a ceremony organised by the home department here.
The cadres laid down 304 arms and 1460 rounds of ammunition. These included seven AK-series rifles, twenty .303 rifles, four SLRs, four carbines, one INSAS rifle, one LMG, 124 pistols, 30 semi-automatic rifles, 20 grenades, 10 Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), two kgs of RDX and 2.5 kgs of TNT.
For rehabilitation package, the Chief Minister announced Rs 4 lakhs each for all the cadres. The amount will be fixed deposited, as the cadres can take loans up to Rs 3 lakhs against the fixed deposit amount. He also said that the government would give each cadres Rs 6 thousand monthly for three years to help them towards self-employment.
The Chief Minister also appealed to ULFA (I) for talks. He said, “In Assam when all the militant groups have come over ground, ULFA should also come for talks in the interest of all sections of the people of the state”.
It may be noted that these extremist organisations surrendered before the government on January 24, 2012, and later signed the Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement on October 4, 2016. Since signing 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 Government of India and Assam.
After the signing of the Adivasi Accord and in pursuance of Clause 3 of the Accord, on May 22 2023, the Government of Assam constituted a 16-member Adivasi Welfare and Development Council. Today along with the arms laying down ceremony, the members of the Council led by its Chairman Ashim Hasda took oath as Secretary, Tribal Affairs (Plain), Social Justice, and Empowerment Binita Pegu administered the oath in front of the Chief Minister.
Minister Water Resources etc. Pijush Hazarika, Minister, Welfare of Tea Tribes Sanjay Kishan, MP Pallab Lochan Das, Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, MLAs Rupjyoti Kurmi, Krishna Kamal Tanti, Rupesh Gowala, DGP GP Singh, Principal Secretary Home and Political Niraj Verma, Principal Secretary Social Justice and Empowerment Mukesh Chandra Sahu, ADGP Hiren Nath and others were present at the arms laying down ceremony.