64 militants including ULFA (I) deputy chief Drishti Asom surrenders in Guwahati

Militants of several banned outfits including ULFA – Independent, PDCK and DNLA surrendered and laid down arms at an event where Assam DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta was also present
64 militants including ULFA (I) deputy chief Drishti Asom surrenders in Guwahati

Guwahati: In a major step towards sustaining peace in Assam and moving a step closer towards bringing an end to militancy in the state, the state police and security forces have successfully managed to bring 64 ULFA, PDCK etc militants & others from different banned militant outfits to the mainstream.

Some of the big names who surrendered include ULFA (I)'s "deputy commander-in-chief" Drishti Asom alias Drishti Rajkhowa and Mantu Saikia, and Ong Teron, "commander-in-chief" of People's Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK), an organisation that has been demanding sovereignty of Karbis.

Of the 64 militants who surrendered, 18 are from ULFA (I), 32 are from United People's Revolutionary Front, a Kuki organisation of Karbi Anglong, 13 from Dimasa National Liberation Army (was active in Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills) and one from PDCK. will surrender and give up on arms in front of Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday in Guwahati.

According to reports, the strength of ULFA (I) could reduce to around 150 to 180 cadres after the surrender of the militants. Out of these active cadres, the majority of them are in Myanmar, some in Nagaland and in Arunachal Pradesh.

After their surrender, their credentials will be checked by a screening committee headed by the IGP of the Special Branch. The committee is supposed to check the cases the militants have against them and also determine whether they were really active members of the militant groups before they get the benefit of rehabilitation policy of the Government.

Rajkhowa had led the ULFA-I for over 30 years before surrendering on November 11 on humanitarian grounds to look after his ailing wife, who has been fighting with cancer.

As many as 2,259 rebels have surrendered in Assam till date. A total of 644 cadres of eight militant groups have surrendered. Another 301 have surrendered from National Liberation Front of Bengali, 178 from Adivasi Dragon Fighter and 87 from National Santhal Liberation. In January this year, 1,615 members of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland had laid down their arms before the Chief Minister.

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