Over 1,600 cadres of the Bodo militant group NDFB, on Thursday surrendered their with over 4800 weapons, before Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
Welcoming the NDFB cadres — 836 of the NDFB-Progressive, 579 of the NDFB-Ranjan Daimary faction and 200 of the NDFB(S) led by B Saoraigwra — into the mainstream, Sonowal said he was confident that the initiative will inspire others, who were yet to give up arms, to come together and work for the “Team Assam”.
Over 4,800 weapons, including AK rifles, light-machine guns and stenguns were laid down by the NDFB members on the occasion.
The government on Monday had signed an accord with the NDFB and two other outfits, providing political and economic benefits without acceding to the demand for a separate state or Union Territory, with an aim to bring permanent peace in the Bodo-dominated areas in Assam.
Sonowal said it was a historic day coinciding with the 72nd death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and this day would mark a new chapter of peace and development in the Bodo areas.
The chief minister said a comprehensive rehabilitation policy would be formulated for providing employment opportunities to the surrendered militants so that they could make meaningful contribution to the process of nation-building.
Thanking the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for their initiative to bring permanent peace to Assam and the Northeast, Sonowal said the peace accord would further strengthen the unity and integrity of the state.
He also appreciated the roles played by his cabinet colleague Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was present on the occasion, and Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) chief Hagrama Mohilary for bringing the process to fruition.
“We will have to work together for Team Assam to make it a front-runner state in India and the whole of South-East Asia. By giving up the path of violence, you have come forward to walk on the road of development,” he said.