Nearly 40 cadres of a tribal militant outfit, including its ‘commander-in-chief’ laid down their arms before the security forces in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district on Friday, a top police official said.
They gave up a large cache of arms and ammunition, including sophisticated guns and grenades, at the surrender ceremony at Bokakhat police station premise, he said.
“Total of 39 cadres of the Adivasi People’s Liberation Army (APLA) surrendered today. This has been possible due to the joint efforts of the Assam Police and Assam Rifles,” inspector general of police (IGP), central range, Devojyoti Mukherjee said.
Another official said 31 pieces of weapons, including three AK series rifles, 19 pistols, five other rifles, two grenades and assorted live ammunition, were handed over by the surrendered militants.
“The cadres realized that it is futile to pursue terrorist activities and have decided to re-join the mainstream. They had deposited several arms and ammunition, including sophisticated weapons, pistols and grenades,” Mukherjee said.
APLA chief Sahil Munda, who led his cadres in the surrender ceremony, said his group was formed as a break-away faction in 2019 of Adivasi National Liberation Army with about 125 members.
“We moved away from ANLA for personal reasons. After seeing the development taking place in the state under the Himanta Biswa Sarma-led government and how problems of the Adivasi community are being addressed, we have decided to return to the mainstream,” Munda said. About 40 cadres of the outfit are still to lay down arms, while several others are behind bars.
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