Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday urged militant organizations including the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) to give up arms and join mainstream.
This comes a day after the Centre withdrew the effect of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from most parts of the state.
"I appeal to ULFA-I and other militant organizations which are still in their arms movement, to come forward and take part in the peace process so that we all can make Assam a powerful state of the country," Sarma said in the state Assembly today.
CM Sarma said that the withdrawal of AFSPA from most parts of the state will usher in a new horizon of a peaceful environment.
"The state will get new strengths of development. On behalf of Assam and Northeast, I extend my gratitude to Prime Minister and Home Minister for taking this historical decision," he said.
Earlier yesterday, Union home minister Amit Shah informed that the Centre has decided to reduce disturbed areas under the AFSPA in the states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur after decades.
Announcing the decision, Shah said that the reduction in areas under AFSPA is a result of the "improved security situation and fast-tracked development due to the consistent efforts and several agreements to end insurgency and bring lasting peace in Northeast by PM Narendra Modi".
"Our Northeastern region, which was neglected for decades, is now witnessing a new era of peace, prosperity and unprecedented development,” he said.
The act empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any warrant. The act also gives a certain level of immunity to the security forces in case of an operation going wrong.
Assam has been in the disturbed area list since 1990.
With this new step, 23 districts in Assam will be removed completely from the effect of AFSPA from April 1.
Also Read: Assam: AFSPA Withdrawn from 23 Districts