Songbijit, 1039 others give up; peace pact on Feb 25

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Rong Bong Terang attends surrender ceremony ** CM urges Karbi youths to utilise their potentials

HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Feb 23: In a major positive development, People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK) chief Ingti Kathar Songbijit along with 1,039 militants of five other ethnic militant groups laid down their arms and ammunition before chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal at a function held at Srimanta Sankaradeva International Auditorium here on Tuesday.

The militant groups will sign a peace agreement with Union home minister Amit Shah in Den Gaon on February 25.

Songbijit is the chief of PDCK. He was earlier the commander-in-chief of the banned National Democratic Front of Boroland.

He was involved in several incidents of massacres, mostly of the people from minority communities, in the erstwhile Bodoland Territorial Area Districts. Songbijit was sidelined after the Ranjan Daimary faction of NDFB suspended operations. He later formed the PDCK in Karbi Anglong district.

Of the surrendered militants there are cadres of Karbi People’s Liberation Tiger (KPLT), People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK), Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), Kuki Liberation Front (KLF) and United People’s Liberation Army (UPLA).

A total of 338 arms of different kinds along with 11,203 bullets were deposited by the militants.

Speaking on the occasion, Sonowal welcomed those members of Karbi militant groups back to mainstream and congratulated them for deciding to give up arms while reposing faith in the constitution of the country.

Karbi youths have lots of potentials and they must utilise it to make Karbi Anglong a developed region in the state by harnessing its tourism potential, he said.

Saying that due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s endeavour of equal development in every corner of the country Assam is making rapid strides towards prosperity, Sonowal congratulated the surrendered militants for coming back to mainstream society and urged them to contribute in the journey of state’s progress.

The chief minister also appreciated Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) led by CEM Tuliram Ronghang for ushering in peace and prosperity in the Karbi Hills and he also commended the Unified Command structure comprising Assam Police, Indian Army, paramilitary and Intelligence agencies for their success in bringing peace to the state.

Sonowal also thanked noted litterateur and former president of Asam Sahitya Sabha Rong Bong Terang for his presence at the programme along with representatives of Karbi Sahitya Sabha and members of Karbi Cultural Society.

While additional DGP (special branch) Hiren Nath gave the welcome address, CEM Tuliram Ronghang, chief secretary Jishnu Baruah and DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta also spoke on the occasion.

Diphu MP Horen Sing Bey, additional chief secretary to chief minister Paban Kumar Borthakur, principal secretary (home & political) Niraj Verma, additional DGP (law & order) GP Singh, GoC of 21 Mountain Division Major General SP Singh, joint director, SIB Rashmi Sinha and other senior officers were present at the programme.

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