644 cadres from 8 militant outfits bid farewell to arms
GUWAHATI: “Those youths who strayed into terrorism and extremist activities must be given an opportunity to come back to the mainstream society and rebuild their lives. I welcome all members of extremist groups who have laid down their arms today to lead a normal life again and contribute meaningfully to the nation-building process through hard work and dedication. It will inspire other such militant organisation members to come back to the mainstream society,” said Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday while attending the arms laying-down programme of militant outfit members at a programme organised by the Home Department, Government of Assam in the GMCH auditorium.
The 644 members who bid farewell to arms formally on the occasion were from the United Liberation Front of Assam-Independent (ULFA-I), National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), Kamatapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), and the Rabha National Liberation Front (RNLF) among others.
Pointing out that building a terrorism-free Assam is one of the primary commitments of the present State government, Chief Minister Sonowal urged the surrendered militants to also utilise their potential to bring about positive transformations in the society. “Peace is a prerequisite for ushering in development, and the former militants must contribute towards sustaining peace and harmony in the society,” he added.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s example, the Chief Minister said, “People from all sections of the society must emulate the Prime Minister’s dedication towards the objective of making India a strong force to reckon with at the international stage”, stated a release.
Following the Central government’s ‘Act East Policy’ initiatives, the State government has been undertaking steps to make Guwahati the gateway to South East Asia and Assam’s farmers have been able to export their produce to the markets of Abu Dhabi, Singapore, and Dubai besides other countries, the Chief Minister said. He also urged the surrendered militants to come forward and take advantage of this positive environment to establish themselves in the society through hard work and dedication. “The State government is always ready to help in their rehabilitation process,” he added.
Stating that “by deciding to give up arms, the militant organisation members have shown their trust in the democratic process”, Sonowal expressed optimism that “this would not only encourage all the law-abiding citizens to keep believing in the democratic values but also inspire the younger generations to strengthen the democratic foundation of the country.” Resolution of all problems is possible through discussion; and people must keep their faith on the law of the land, he stressed.
During the programme, the Chief Minister also felicitated the outgoing GOC 4 Corps Lt Gen Manoj Pandey and welcomed the incoming GOC 4 Corps Lt Gen Shantanu Dayal.
Among those present on the occasion were MLA Rituparna Baruah, Legal Advisor to Chief Minister Shantanu Bharali, Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna, DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Jishnu Baruah, Commissioner & Secretary (Home) Ashutosh Agnihotri, ADGP (Law and Order) GP Singh, IGP SB Hiren Nath, and the State government’s interlocutor Pallab Bhattacharya, the release added.