Altogether 1855 militants belonging to nine groups on Tuesday bid a farewell to arms before Union home minister P Chidambaram and received roses for weapons turned in.
Welcoming the cadres of the nine groups for returning to the path of peace, Chidambaram said, "I want to assure all of you that the governments of India and Assam will treat you as equal citizens of India with honour and dignity.
"The Government of India has welcomed the militants back to the fold. We believe we are a republic and a democracy where every voice deserves to be heard. Everyone is entitled to live with honour," said Chidamabaram at the function where Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, Army GoCs of 3 and 4 Corps, and director general of police Jayant Narayan Chowdhury were also present.
"All differences can be settled through talks, consultations, efforts and endeavour. No knot can be left untied through patience," the home minister said.
Led by chairmen and 'commanders', the militants surrendered 201 assorted arms and ammunition.
The underground groups were Adivashi Peoples Army (APA), All Adivashi National Liberation Army (AANLA), Santhal Tiger Force (STF), Birsa Commando Force (BCF), Adivashi Cobra Military of Assam (ACMA), Kuki Liberation Army (KLA)/Kuki Liberation Organisation (KLO), Hmar People’s Convention (HPC), United Kukigam Defence Army (UKDA) and Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA).