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14 Ulfa men lay down arms

Guwahati, Sept. 6: Fourteen Ulfa militants, including members of the outfit’s two strike units, surrendered to police at a simple ceremony here today.

The militants from the outfit’s 28 and 709 battalions handed over arms and ammunition before inspector-general of police (special branch) Khagen Sarma at special branch headquarters in Kahilipara today. They expressed their willingness to shun violence.

“This is undoubtedly a big blow to Ulfa as all those who surrendered today were active members of the outfit and are directly involved in recent subversive activities across the state,” Sarma said.

The cache of arms and ammunition surrendered by them include an AK-47 rifle, three 9mm pistols, two improvised explosive devices, four kg TNT, 118 AK-47 cartridges, six rounds of cartridges of 9mm pistol, 36 grenades, three revolvers and a time device.

The surrendered rebels include Dilip Kumar Sarma, Robin Bezbaruah, Lakhyadhar Kalita, Jayanta Roy, Rajani Kalita of Ulfa’s 709 Battalion and Manik Gogoi, Simanta Gogoi, Dulal Baruah, Rupam Gogoi, Chintu Gogoi, Anil Gogoi , Subhash Bora , Tapan Baruah and Mitul Handique of the 28 Battalion.

This is the biggest surrender ever since the outfit’s spokesman Ruby Bhuyan and explosives expert Khagen Kachari gave themselves up in February 2005.

Sarma said: “It is a major achievement for the police as the militants were working overground and were behind several blasts and other incidents of violence in different parts of the state.”

“The surrender of nine militants of Ulfa’s 28 Battalion, active in Upper Assam, reflects the growing disillusionment among the outfit’s cadre against their leadership.”

Welcoming them to the mainstream, Sarma said they would be entitled to a grant of Rs 1.5 lakh from the government under the surrender-cum-rehabilitation scheme.

“Most of them were self-styled corporals, lieutenants and sergeants which means that they are the ones who would work overground. The-se middle-rung cadre are more important to us as they execute plans hatched by the top leaders from outside the country,” he said.

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