More than 600 fighters belonging to eight different rebel groups surrendered to Indian authorities in a troubled northeastern state on Thursday, responding to a government’s peace initiative that will allow them to rejoin mainstream society, police said.

Assam state police chief Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said the rebels also laid down assault rifles, grenades, bombs and other weapons.

“A total of 644 rebels belonging to eight different insurgent groups surrendered today, lending a huge boost to the government’s peace initiatives,” Mahanta told The Associated Press.

The rebels will now be kept in government-run camps and taught technical skills to take up jobs in the near future.

Government forces are battling dozens of ethnic armed groups In India’s remote northeast who are pushing demands ranging from independent homelands to maximum autonomy within India.

The rebels will now be kept in government-run camps and taught technical skills to take up jobs in the near future [Anupam Nath/AP Photo]

The surrender ceremony in the state capital Guwahati was attended by Assam state’s Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, and some top security officials.

More than 300 belong to the National Liberation Front of Bengalis, an outfit formed around 2015 to protect Bengali-speaking people from rival armed groups in the state.

The rest belong to the Adivasi Dragon Force, which represents the state’s tea garden Adivasi community, and the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), a faction headed by Paresh Baruah.

Another faction of ULFA, headed by Arabinda Rajkhowa, is already in peace talks with the Indian government.

Earlier this month, the National Democratic Front, a key Naga armed group headed by B Saoraigwra, signed a ceasefire agreement with Indian authorities in Assam state.

In 2012, more than 1,800 rebels belonging to nine groups laid down their weapons after another government peace overture.

Officials said the level of separatist violence has come down substantially in the state.

Officials said the level of separatist violence has come down substantially in the state [Anupam Nath/AP Photo]

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

France kills 7 in first armed drone strike as anti-jihadist mission in Mali drags on

Jihadist militants aligned with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and Al-Qaeda, among other groups, have been carrying out a series of major attacks and kidnappings in the Sahel region for years. The fighters have also used the area as a…

This Day in History: June 14

On this day, June 14 … 2017: A man opens fire on a Republican congressional baseball practice, wounding four, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. Also on this day: President Donald Trump speaks at Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council…

Michel Barnier ‘worried and disappointed’ over talks impasse

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has said he is “worried and disappointed” over the UK’s approach to the talks, fuelling fears that the UK will leave the bloc in January without a deal. He said there was no…

Anaesthetist goes on trial over death of British woman

An anaesthetist has gone in trial for manslaughter in France accused of botching a caesarian after drinking that left a young British mother dead. Xynthia Hawke from Somerset suffered a catastrophic cardiac arrest after the medic pushed a tube down…