A day after Republic Day celebrations, 246 militants from two terrorist outfits of Assam, Tiwa Liberation Military (TLA) and United Gorkha Peoples Organisation (UGPO), formally surrendered and laid down arms earlier than Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in Guwahati.
Members of each the outfits deposited 277 numerous varieties of arms, grenades and 720 rounds of ammunition on the perform. Whereas 77 cadres of TLA, which was fashioned in 2014, surrendered and laid down arms, the remainder 169 had been from UGPO, which got here into existence in 2007.
The ceremony was like a number of others the state has seen prior to now two years. Cadres of terror outfits of varied varieties have surrendered, laid down arms and brought rehabilitation packages to hitch the mainstream.
“In final two years now we have managed to have all main militant teams give up arms and be part of the mainstream. I urge United Liberation Entrance of Asom-Unbiased (ULFA-I) and Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), the 2 remaining main extremist teams, to come back ahead and sit in peace talks with Authorities of India,” CM Sarma after the January 27 occasion.
Insurgency in Assam began in April, 1979 with the formation of ULFA—as an offshoot of the anti-foreigner’s agitation in opposition to influx of unlawful immigrants to the state from Bangladesh (former East Pakistan). The said intention of the outfit was to create an impartial Assam.
A decade later, Bodo Safety Drive (BSF) was fashioned within the areas of decrease Assam. The outfit, which represented the Bodo neighborhood, sought to create an impartial Bodo nation.
This was adopted by emergence of many outfits of various communities with numerous objectives. As per South Asian Terrorism Portal (SATP), at one level Assam had 60 completely different terror outfits.
Whereas a peace deal was signed by Centre with BSF in 1993, different Bodo outfits like Nationwide Democratic Entrance of Bodoland (NDFB), which has a number of factions and Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) emerged, which continued its actions within the Bodo areas for a few years.
In February, 2011, ULFA break up into two teams—one group led by chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa that determined to surrender its violent previous and sit for talks with Centre with none situation and one other led by commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah, which determined in opposition to talks and rebranded as ULFA-Unbiased.
“NDFB got here underneath ceasefire in 2005 and one other faction gave up arms in 2010. The discussions had been happening with different NDFB factions, however the issue remained,” mentioned Extra DGP (Particular Department) Hiren Chandra Nath.
“In 2020, all three remaining factions of NDFB surrendered and a brand new peace deal was signed with Centre and Assam authorities. As per the deal, all of them disbanded themselves and deposited all their arms. Now these surrendered rebels are being rehabilitated. In previous two years, over 4,000 of them have been rehabilitated,” he added.
In January 2020 previous to signing of the peace deal 644 rebels from eight completely different outfits surrendered and 1615 cadres of the three NDFB factions gave up arms after signing of the deal the identical month.
In December 2020, former self-styled deputy commander-in-chief of United Liberation Entrance of Asom-Indpendent (ULFA-I) Drishti Rajkhowa and 62 different rebels from 4 rebel outfits of the area laid down arms.
Some of the dreaded and wished militant leaders of Assam, Ingti Kathar Songbijit, who headed the Peoples’ Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK), a militant outfit from the Karbi Anglong laid down arms in February final 12 months. .
Together with Songbijit, 1039 different militants belonging to 5 militant outfits of Karbi Anglong–PDCK, Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Entrance (KLNLF), United Peoples Liberation Military (UPLA), Karbi Peoples’ Liberation Tiger (KPLT) and Karbi Liberation Entrance (KLF), laid down arms.
“Lately, Dimasa Nationwide Liberation Military (DNLA) came to visit floor and deposited all their weapons. They surrendered in three batches and all of the outfits management and cadres totaling 117 individuals gave up arms,” mentioned Nath.
“Splinter teams of Reangs in Barak Valley, Gorkhas in Bodo areas, Kuki teams in Karbi Anglong, Rabha teams in Korajhar-Dhubri, two Adivasi teams, one Bengali group. In all 16 teams, large and small, have surrendered, disbanded and signed peace offers. Now ULFA-I and KLO are the one lively teams,” he added.
Considerably, citing COVID19 as a purpose, ULFA-I declared unilateral ceasefire for the primary time in Could 2021 and prolonged it thrice. Whereas the ceasefire continues, the outfit didn’t urge public to boycott final 12 months’s Independence Day and this 12 months’s Republic Day celebrations, the primary time in a few years.
Since assuming workplace in Could final 12 months, CM Sarma has been urging ULFA-I to come back for peace talks and the outfit has additionally proven constructive overtures. Sources mentioned that discussions are additionally on with the KLO management to carry them for talks.
The altering situation has additionally mirrored within the actions of terror outfits within the state. A datasheet ready by SATP exhibits that whereas 565 individuals (183 civilians, 76 safety personnel and 287 terrorists) died within the state in 2001, the determine was 29 (10 civilians, 19 terrorists) final 12 months.
“We now have famous that violent crimes, these perpetrated by rebel outfits, have come down in previous few years. The recruitment drive of those outfits has additionally come right down to a trickle and the assist, which they used to get from a piece of the general public, has decreased. The safety situation is significantly better than what it was until few years again,” mentioned a retired IPS officer from Assam cadre on situation of anonymity.