More than 46 leaders and cadres of All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA) laid down their arms in Assam’s Sonitpur district on Sunday.
During a ceremony, the former leaders and cadres handed over their weapons to top district police officers, including Additional Superintendent of Police (crime) and the Deputy Superintendent of Police (border), in Dhekiajuli.
It may be mentioned that in the month of September last year, AANLA was among the eight tribal militant organisations based in Assam which has signed peace treaty with the government in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, among others.
The weapons that were handed over included eight pistols, six rifles and ammunition.
Meanwhile, AANLA ‘President’ D Nayak, who had already surrendered, was present at the ceremony and said the cadres laid down their arms as they believe that peace accord will be able to protect their rights of the tea tribes and ensure their development.
Nayak was quoted by PTI saying, “We had been waging armed struggle for our rights. The doors for peace talks were opened with the government in January 2012.”
“After several years of negotiations, the agreement was finally signed last year. It ensures that the rights of our community will be protected. Hence, we have also decided to the mainstream,” he added.
During the first of January, as many as 86 cadres of the AANLA laid down arms in Gossaigaon.
The arms were laid down in the presence of Bhaskar Ojha, the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of Gossaigaon at a ceremony held at Mandariya village.
A huge cache of arms and ammunitions including a handmade AK 47, a 303 rifle, a stand gun, two Chinese pistols, eight handmade pistols, two handmade LMG, 14 detonators, 29 live rounds of bullets and five kilos of IED were laid down by the militants before the authorities.