UPLA leaders addressing the media. Image credit - Northeast Now

After almost 8 years of armed struggle, militant outfit UPLA on Sunday disbanded itself during a ceremony at their designated camp in Balipathar under Bokajan sub-division of Assam’s Karbi Anglong district.

United Peoples’ Liberation Army (UPLA) is a signatory of the tripartite Karbi Peace Accord which was signed recently with the Centre in New Delhi.

The disbandment of the militant outfit came in accordance with the Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) with six ethnic outfits on September 4, 2021.

Also read: Centre signs Karbi Accord, to allocate Rs 500 cr; Assam government to provide Rs 500 cr for development

A total of 387 cadres of the UPLA are set to return home and join the mainstream through the rehabilitation programme of the government.

UPLA is a splinter group formed by former members of the erstwhile United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) in 2013 and was active in the Karbi Anglong district.

UPLA cadres. Image credit – Northeast Now
UPLA cadres. Image credit – Northeast Now

Later, the outfit declared a unilateral ceasefire with the government in 2018 and subsequently laid down arms in February 2021.

Also read: Assam: UPLA wants to rejoin mainstream

Addressing the media, the UPLA leadership expressed happiness over the government’s effort to bring peace to the region and solve the long standing demand of the people of Karbi Anglong.

“We are not putting a full stop to the Autonomous State demand by singing the peace accord as it is being propagated by APHLC and 24+organisations in Karbi Anglong. We have kept the door open for negotiating the statehood demand and shall pursue it in a democratic manner,” said UPLA chairman Sorjon Lo-eh.

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Replying to a question of stiff opposition by 24+orgainsations, the UPLA chairman said, “We have realized that we cannot attain statehood by means of armed revolution. It is only through dialogue that we can resolve the long-standing issue.”

UPLA cadres. Image credit – Northeast Now
UPLA cadres. Image credit – Northeast Now

“A section of organisations are trying to take political advantage by spreading false propaganda among the public,” he added.

(Report filed by Rupjyoti Mahanta) 

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