1,000 militants to surrender, to get reservation in Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council: Assam CM

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Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma speaking to reporters in New Delhi on Saturday. [Photo/ANI]
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma speaking to reporters in New Delhi on Saturday. [Photo/ANI]

New Delhi [India], September 4 (ANI): Terming the Karbi Anglong Peace Accord a 'big achievement', Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said that the 1,000 militants who will surrender, will be given reservation in the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council for the first time.

He further stated that over 300 sophisticated arms will be deposited and peace will be restored in the region.

Speaking to reporters here today after the agreement was signed, Sarma said, "1,000 militants will surrender under this agreement and lots of arms will be deposited. Peace will be restored. It is a very big achievement."

"We will work for the rehabilitation of 1,000 militants who will be surrendering with over 300 sophisticated arms. They will be given reservation in the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, for the first time," said the Assam Chief Minister.

The Central government on Saturday signed a tripartite "Karbi Anglong Agreement" with a group of representatives of Karbi outfits here in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

A delegation of six Karbi group members that signed the agreement includes Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front, People's Democratic Council of Karbi Longri, United People's Liberations Army, Karbi People's Liberation Tigers (Ceasefire), Karbi People's Liberation Tigers (R), and Karbi People's Liberation Tigers (M).

Noting Assam agitation, Sarma said there was a historical moment in 2019 when Bodoland Accord was signed. "Now lower Assam has been turned into a peaceful area. Now we are going to sign an agreement with the Karbi Anglong group which is also a historic moment."

He ensured that the Assam government will take each and every possible step to make it a successful agreement, expecting "the accord will help in great support to the state".

The accord was signed at the North Block office in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

The accord is significant as an insurgency by Karbi -- a major ethnic community of Assam -- groups, dotted by several factions and splinters, have had a long history in Assam, marked by killings, ethnic violence, abductions, and taxation since the late 1980s.

Over 150 Karbi militants, who were part of those 1,040 militants surrendered before the Assam government on February 25 this year, reached North Block while a group of 15 of them were present in the meeting when the agreement was signed.

These militants arrived in Delhi on Friday and were staying in Delhi's different hotels.

A total of 1,040 militants of five insurgent groups of Karbi Anglong district ceremonially laid down arms at an event in Guwahati on February 25 in the presence of then Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, a development which further bolsters the 'terrorism-free Assam' image of the current BJP-led government.

Among the surrendered militants was Ingti Kathar Songbijit, a primary accused in multiple cases of militancy and ethnic violence in the state.

The surrendered militants belong to Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), People's Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK), United People's Liberation Army (UPLA), and Kuki Liberation Front (KLF).

The former militants submitted a total of 338 weapons, including eight light machine guns with 11,203 bullets, 11 M-16 rifles and 58 AK-47 rifles.

The former militants of the five organizations had come to surrender their weapons after a year when the BJP signed the Bodo peace accord to end the long-run violence in Bodoland. The Bodoland region is an autonomous territorial region that is administered by the elected body - Bodoland Terrestrial Council. The Bodo Accord was first signed in 2003 to maintain peace in the region, later it was extended by the Modi-led BJP government in 2020. (ANI)

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