Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Centre, Assam govt sign peace pact with 8 Adivasi militant groups

The Centre on Thursday signed an agreement with eight tribal militant organisations based in Assam to bring a lasting peace in some areas of the state.
The tripartite agreement among the central and state governments and the eight groups, including All Adivasi National Liberation Army, Adivasi Cobra Militant of Assam, Birsa Commando Force, Santhal Tiger Force, and Adivasi People’s Army, was signed here in presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma among others. The groups were in ceasefire since 2012 and living in designated camps.
Shah said the Prime Minister Modi-led central government wanted the North East to be “drug-free, terrorism-free, dispute-free”. He further said this pact was an “important” step by the Centre on the road to developing the northeast and establishing peace in the region.
“This is an important day for Assam and the Northeast. Many initiatives have been taken by the Modi government to develop the northeast region. Around 1,100 people of adivasi outfits of Assam are surrendering arms and joining the mainstream today,” he said.
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union home minister Amit Shah, saying the date will be written in “golden words” in Assam’s history.
“I am sure signing of the agreement will usher in a new era of peace and harmony in Assam,” Sarma said.
Except the hardline faction of the banned ULFA, led by Paresh Baruah, and the Kamatapur Liberation Organisation, all other rebel groups active in the state have entered into peace agreements with the government.
In January, all cadres belonging to the Tiwa Liberation Army and the United Gorkha People’s Organisations surrendered with arms and ammunition.
In August, the Kuki Tribal Union militants laid down their arms.
In December 2020, around 4,100 cadres belonging to all factions of the Bodo militant group NDFB had surrendered their arms before the authorities.