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Assam: 412 KNLF militants surrender

February 11, 2010 15:11 IST

In a major boost to the morale of security forces engaged sustained counter-insurgency operation Assam, 412 militants including 22 women of the Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF) laid down arms before Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi in presence of senior police and Army officials at Diphu in Karbi Anglong hill district of Assam.

The militants deposited 162 assorted weapons, a huge quantity of explosives, detonators and live ammunition during the surrender ceremony held at Diphu stadium on Thursday.

Union Home Minister P Chandambaram sent a latter to the KLNLF welcoming its cadres to the mainstream and assured that the surrender by the militants would pave way for a meaningful tri-partite peace talks among the KLNLF, Assam government and the Centre to address to demands of the outfit. The letter of the Home Minister was read out by the district deputy commissioner on the occasion.

The KLNLF which had declared unilateral ceasefire few months ago in response to the wishes of the civil society in the hill district was formed 19 years back to launch armed revolution to demand for a separate state of Karbi tribe in Assam.
The outfit was operating in close coordination with the banned United Liberation Front of Assam which helped formation of the Karbi militant group and was involved in large-scale killing of Hindi-speaking settlers in the hill districts in 1990s and early years of this decade. KLNLF cadres were trained in Bangladesh and Manipur with ULFA's.

All the 412 KLNLF cadres from 12 different camps of the outfit gave up arms on thursday, under the leadership of chairman in charge Habe Tokbi. The chairman of the outfit P Dili is in jail.

K Anurag in Guwahati