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Assam: 68 militants surrender
K Anurag in Guwahati | November 01, 2007 15:47 IST
Sixty-eight militants, 66 belonging to the banned United Liberation Front of Asom and two from All Adivasi National Liberation Army on Thursday laid down arms and swore by the Indian Constitution to work for preservation of integrity and unity of the country in a function held at 4th Assam Police Battalion headquarters in Guwahati.
The function was held in the presence of senior army, police and civil officials.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi termed the surrender a reflection of growing disillusionment among the cadres of the ULFA, which is now heading nowhere under some autocratic leaders who are 'staying in foreign sanctuaries'.
With Thursday's surrender, the total number of militants giving up arms within this fortnight went up to 115.
Earlier, two batches of militants numbering 33 and 14, mostly from the ULFA, surrendered before the police and army in two different occasions held at army bases at Tamulpur in Baska district and Laipuli at Tinsukia district.
Inspector General of Assam Police Khagen Sharma, while welcoming the misguided youths back to the mainstream, said that the general cadres of the ULFA were getting frustrated once the peace process initiated by the ULFA-nominated People's Consultative Group broke down in September 2006.
"Over 650 ULFA militants have surrendered in the state since the peace process broke down in September 2006," the police official said.
The IGP claimed that there was no internal democracy within the ULFA, which hasn't held its general council since 1996.
The police official's claim was corroborated by one of the surrendering ULFA leader sergeant Bhaskar Bora who said, "The revolutionary principles and ideology within the ULFA has decayed and there is no scope for cadres to speak their mind before the leaders as there is hardly internal democracy within the group. The conflict should end in reconciliation one day as it can't go on for a long time. The ULFA will collapse unless its leaders initiate reforms within the outfit."
Prominent among those who have surrendered on Thursday were Ujjal Gohain alias Bipul Neog, finance secretary of the ULFA's 28th battalion, Bhaskar Bora and Krishna Kanta Rabha.
There were two women cadres among the surrendered ultras.
The militants deposited 32 assorted weapons, including eight AK-56 assault rifles, five pistols, 10 revolvers, 37 grenades, 5 kg of RDX explosives, large number of ammunitions, gelatin sticks, electronic detonators etc. while giving up arms.
Director General of Assam Police R N Mathur said the surrendered militants would be provided vocational training, a monthly stipend for two years and Rs 1.5 lakh cash in the form of three-year fixed deposit as per the current rehabilitation package of the government of India.