The government has offered a rehabilitation package for riot-hit Adivasi population living in refugee camps in Assam since the late 1990s. K Anurag reports.
Nine militants groups based in Assam, including four Adivasi outfits, are set to lay down arms in the presence of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in Guwahati on January 24.
Official sources informed that Chidambaram would pay a day-long visit to the state on January 24 ahead of Republic Day celebrations. He has agreed to be the chief guest of the function organised by the state government.
The nine militant groups include four Adivasi militant groups -- Adivasi Cobra Militants of Assam, Birsa Commando Force, Santhal Tiger Force, Adivasi People's Army and Adivasi National Liberation Army. The rest of the militant groups include Hmar Peoples Convention (HPC), Kuki Liberation Army (KLA), Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) and United Kuki Defence Army (UKDA).
Sources informed that the government has offered to recognise some select Adivasi tribes that are already enjoying Scheduled Tribe status in other states, and also offer rehabilitation package for riot-hit Adivasi population living in refugee camps in Assam since the late 1990s.
The Adivasi militant groups have also demanded ex-gratia payment to the riot-hit Adivasi people. An estimate of 2.50 lakh riot-hit Adivasis live in camps. The riot had occurred in 1996 in western Assam areas involving Bodo tribe and Adivasi people.
The Kuki and Hmar militant outfits who are also laying down arms are not much of a threat, as they do not have significant presence. However, the peace pacts with Adivasi militant groups will be significant, as these outfits are potent enough to create serious trouble. There have been apprehension that some of the Advasi militants may be lured by Maoists who are trying to strike roots in Assam. Adivasi outfits are known to target the national highways and railway network in the state.