19 UANF militants surrender in Meghalaya
The surrender comes as a serious blow to the outfit which was regrouping and consolidating its strength in the Bangladesh border.india Updated: May 23, 2006 13:18 IST
Nineteen militants of United Achik National Front (UANF), an outfit operating in Meghalaya's Garo Hills region, have surrendered in the last 24 hours.
Seven militants surrendered before the sub-divisional officer (civil) at Ampati on Tuesday while 12 came overground on Monday at the district town Tura before the DIG (Western range) FD Sangma, said Additional Superintendent of West Garo Hills District DP Marak.
The surrender of UANF rebels taking place for the first time was understood to have dealt a serious blow to the outfit which was regrouping and consolidating its strength in the Bangladesh border areas of Garo Hills region.
Marak said the rebels, most of them new recruits, however, did not lay down any arm.
The cadres of UANF, although not a banned outfit, were allegedly involved in various cases of kidnapping and extortion.
The outfit was also suspected to be behind the recent abduction of two customs officials of the Ghasuapara land customs station who were taken to Bangladesh and before releasing them earlier this month, the ASP said.
The UANF cadres were under "tremendous pressure" due to frequent police raids and "persuasion" by church leaders and NGOs to surrender and came overground, Marak said.