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Two companies of ULFA battalion declare ceasefire

Sushanta Talukdar

— PHOTO: RITU RAJ KONWAR

New life: An ULFA militant on his way to lay down arms at a surrender ceremony organised by the Army at the Tamulpur camp, 75 km from Guwahati city on Tuesday. Twenty-six ULFA militants surrendered on the occasion.

Guwahati: Two companies of the 28 Battalion of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) on Tuesday announced unilateral ceasefire to facilitate peace dialogue with the Centre, even as 57 hardcore cadres of the outfit surrendered before the army in the State.

Inspector General of Police (Special Branch) Khagen Sharma told The Hindu that the Assam Police have received a joint communiqué from A and C companies of ULFA’s 28 Battalion in which they have declared unilateral ceasefire for facilitating peace dialogue to resolve the conflict and urged both the State and Central government to reciprocate.

Mr. Sharma said that the State government was likely to make public its stand on Wednesday regarding the unilateral ceasefire declared by two companies of 28 battalion of the militant outfit.

He also said that erstwhile commander of the ULFA’s 28 battalion Mrinal Hazarika, who was released on bail on Saturday night, had chaired a meeting of the two companies which together have the strength of about 350 cadres.

“This is a good beginning and indicative of the more battalions of the outfit joining the process of declaring ceasefire for there is an yearning among majority of the rank and file of the ULFA to hold peace dialogue irrespective of the fact whether their top leaders agree to it or not,” he said.

However, the ‘B’ Company of the battalion, which has the strength of about 150 cadres, was not present at the meeting in which the other two companies of the ULFA battalion took the decision for unilateral ceasefire.

The IGP also said that present commander of the ULFA’s 28 Battalion Bijoy Chinese was reportedly camping in Myanmar.

Earlier in the day, 26 ULFA cadres surrendered before the Army at Tamulpur in lower Assam’s Baksa district, while at Mariani in upper Assam’s Jorhat 29 cadres of the outfit and three cadres of NSCN surrendered.

Two more ULFA cadres surrendered at Diphu in Karbi Anglong and Chariduar in Sonitpur district.

The militants laid down two AK series rifles, four revolvers, 21 pistols, eight grenades besides huge quantity of assorted ammunition during their surrender.

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