Assam to frame comprehensive rehab policy for surrendered rebels
GUWAHATI: The Assam government will frame a comprehensive relief and rehabilitation policy for the surrendered cadres of all the four factions of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).
Assam Cabinet minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said the state government, after consultations with the leaders of all the NDFB factions, would soon prepare a comprehensive relief and rehabilitation policy so that all the surrendered rebels of the outfit remain in the mainstream.
The announcement comes on a day when all the factions of the outfit formally laid down arms and ammunition in the presence of Assam chief minister, Sarbananda Sonowal at a function here. Top officials of the Union ministry of home affairs, Army, Assam police and government were also present.
As many as 1615 cadres of NDFB-Progressive (836 cadres from two factions), NDFB – Ranjan Daimary (579 cadres) and NDFB Saoraigwra (200 cadres) factions formally surrendered 178 arms, 4803 rounds of ammunition, 14 grenades and one two-inch mortar.
This is one of the biggest surrender ceremonies of militant outfits in recent times, which follows the inking of the third Bodo peace pact last Monday, and formally brings the curtains on the over three decades long militancy in Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD).
A week back, as many as 644 militants belonging to eight proscribed outfits of Assam laid down arms to join the mainstream at the same venue.
Recalling the sacrifices of the victims of the Bodoland movement, Sarma pledged to implement the Bodo peace accord in letter and spirit and further appealed to the remaining rebel groups in the Northeast to follow suit and join the peace process.
Speaking on the occasion, chief minister Sonowal said the arms surrender of NDFB was a fitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s ahinsa (non-violence) doctrine which had laid the foundation for a strong and peaceful society.
“The fact that the ceremony has taken place on the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, proves that all the factions of NDFB want peace from their heart and mind,” he said.
Sonowal further said that the surrendered rebels were powerful human resources which should be utlised for making Assam a strong and progressive state.
Speakers such as Bodoland Territorial Council chief Hagrama Mohilary, All Bodo Students Union president, Pramod Boro welcomed the surrendered cadres to the mainstream and thanked the government and the leaders of the outfits for their efforts to restore lasting peace in BTAD.