A total of 664 rebels belonging to eight insurgent groups of Assam on Thursday formally laid down their arms in Guwahati.

The cadres surrendered their arms at an event held at the Guwahati Medical College (GMC) Auditorium in the presence of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and top police and home department officials.

The cadres and leaders, who laid down their arms, include—50 cadres from ULFA (I), eight from National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Saoraigwra (NDFB-S), six from Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) ,13 from  Rabha National Liberation Front (RNLF), 301 from National Liberation Front of Bengali (NLFB), 87 from National Santhal Liberation Army (NSLA), one from CPI (Maoist)  and 178 rebels from Adivasi Dragon Fighter (ADF).

Cadres belonging to different insurgent groups.

Sources said many of these rebels returned to the mainstream at different times more than one year back and Thursday’s arms lay down ceremony is just an official formality.

Assam DGP said Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta said the surrender of arms by the militants is the results of the efforts made by the Special Branch of Assam Police, led by IGP Hiren Chandra Nath.

IGP Nath said the cadres have deposited 177 sophisticated arms, including AK-47, AK-56 and AK-57 rifles, Heckler & Koch series rifles and Beretta series pistols, explosives, bombs, rocket launchers and grenades.

Earlier on Wednesday, NDFB-S vice-president and ‘army chief’, G. Bidai along with his deputy Batha returned to the mainstream on Wednesday.

Besides G Bidai alias Bishnu Goyary alias Haranga and Batha alias M Biban alias Binod Mushahary alias Gojo, around 600 cadres of the outfit also came overground.

The Saoraigwra faction of the NDFB on Thursday agreed to shun violence, come overground and join the peace process.

The NDFB(S) under the leadership of its president, B Saoraigwra signed a tripartite Suspension of Operations (SoO) Agreement with the central government in New Delhi.

Earlier, it was reported that a group of nearly 50 members of the Saoraigwra faction of the NDFB reached Assam leaving their camps in Myanmar.

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