Assam militant wanted for multiple killings returns from Myanmar to surrender
- Ingti Kathar Songbijit and 1,039 other militants belonging to five rebel groups surrendered in front of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal at a function in Guwahati.
One of Assam’s most wanted militant leaders, Ingti Kathar Songbijit, who headed the Peoples’ Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK) in the Karbi Anglong region, laid down arms in Guwahati on Tuesday.
The militant, who was earlier the chairman and commander-in-chief of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit), a Bodo rebel group, once carried a bounty of ₹10 lakh on his head.
Along with Songbijit, 1,039 other militants belonging to five militant outfits of Karbi Anglong - PDCK, Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), United People's Liberation Army (UPLA), Karbi Peoples’ Liberation Tiger (KPLT) and Karbi Liberation Front (KLF) surrendered in front of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal at a function in Guwahati.
“I welcome all of you to the mainstream after giving up arms. We must now all work together towards a peaceful and prosperous Assam. The government will do all it can to ensure that you are rehabilitated well,” Sonowal said.
The militants laid down a total of 338 arms including 58 assault rifles, 4 light machine guns (LMGs) and over 11,000 rounds of ammunition.
The surrender by the militants from different outfits is expected to bring lasting peace to the hill districts of Karbi Anglong, West Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao.
A formal ceasefire agreement with Songbijit’s PDCK and the other four outfits is expected to be signed on Thursday at Karbi Anglong in presence of Union home minister Amit Shah, said an official who did not wish to be named.
Songbijit, who had set up base in neighbouring Myanmar after leaving NDFB (S) and forming PDCK almost six years ago, is reported to have entered India earlier this month after expressing willingness to lay down arms and join the peace process.
Tuliram Ronghang, chief executive member of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) is believed to have orchestrated Songbit’s return to the peace process.
Songbijit has several cases lodged against him with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for killing non-Bodos and advasasis in at least eight different incidents between 2014 and 2015.
Last week, JK Lijang, chairman of PDCK, had issued a statement declaring unilateral ceasefire of hostilities in order to resolve the political conflicts among stakeholders.
The outfit sought general amnesty from all criminal charges against its cadres and compensatory financial grant for their rehabilitation.
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