NEW DELHI: Army Chief General M.M. Naravane said that there will be significant draw down of counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism and internal security forces posted in the North East in the coming 18-24 months.
He said that two battalions have already been relaxed from such duties and after the Bodoland elections the next relaxation will happen.
“The North-East is going through a very transitional phase, for the good. The security situation is improving as shown by the recent surrender of 600 members of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and other groups. We are working on a plan for the next 18-24 months on how to draw down regular forces from CI/CT/ internal security duties there,” General Naravane told The Indian Express.
He also said that the Army will continue to focus on “conventional warfare" which is more of a “long-term objective."
Just a few days ago, 644 rebels belonging to eight insurgent groups- ULFA (I), NDFB, RNLF, KLO, CPI (Maoist), NSLA, ADF and NLFB- surrendered in Arms Laying Down Ceremony held at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) Auditorium. Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal, as well as various police officials, present during the event welcomed the move.
177 assorted weapons were collected during the event.
50 cadres from ULFA (I), eight from National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Saoraigwra (NDFB-S), six from Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO),13 from Rabha National Liberation Front (RNLF), 301 from National Liberation Front of Bengali (NLFB), 87 from National Santhal Liberation Army (NSLA), one from CPI (Maoist) and 178 rebels from Adivasi Dragon Fighter (ADF) surrendered during the event, according to media reports.
The Government on Monday also signed an accord with the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) — providing political and economic bonanza. The move is expected to boost peace in the Northeast. The pact provides political and economic bonanza to the tribals, sans the outfit’s key demand of a separate Bodoland state or union territory.
Following this, Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said all stakeholders of the Bodo society signed this agreement, reaffirming the territorial integrity of Assam.