Guwahati, Dec 12: At least 1,179 militants of two insurgent groups, the Bru Liberation Army Union (BLAU) and the United Democratic Liberation Army (UDLA), have laid down their arms on Monday in Assam’s Hailakandi district, officials said.
These two militant groups were active along the Assam-Mizoram border in southern Assam’s three districts -- Cachar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi.
According to a senior police officer, the militants laid down all their firearms, including AK-47s, M-16 rifles, as well as over 400 cartridges.
He further said that 634 members of the BRAU, led by Rajesh Charki, and 545 UDLF-BV militants, headed by Dhanyaram Reang, surrendered at a function held in the Katilechera area of Hailakandi district.
“The peace process with these two groups started in 2017 but there were some differences. Now that could be resolved, and the militants came out for negotiation. Their rehabilitation process will soon materialise,” the police officer added.
The arms laying programme of these two militant groups was attended by Assam Assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimary and state Minister Pijush Hazarika.
Daimary said that the state government will address the concerns of the surrendered militants and provide them funds for development.
Meanwhile, Hazarika mentioned that the militant groups were formed earlier because of the lack of development in the region, and the present government is fully committed to meeting their genuine demands.
BRAU leader Charki said that they are happy with the situation now, but he reminded everyone of their primary demand for an autonomous economic council for the Reang community.
As per the police, both militant groups were active in the 1990s along the Assam-Mizoram border, particularly in the Hailakandi district. They were alleged to have been involved in murder, extortion, kidnapping, and other illegal activities.