Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday asserted that the members of banned militant outfit United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) will soon join the mainstream.
While attending the ceremonial laying down of weapons by former cadres of Dimasa National Liberation Army (DNLA), an armed rebel group that was once active in the Dima Hasao region and which had signed a peace agreement with the Centre and the State government in April last year, Sarma said: “A record number of insurgents returned to the mainstream in the past two and half years of my tenure. I am hopeful that the ULFA-I too would one day drop guns and work towards growth and development of Assam.”
An amount of Rs 4 lakh each as financial grant in the form of fixed deposits has been made towards each of the 181 cadres.
A total of 181 former cadres on Saturday laid down their arms at the event held at the District Sports Association ground.
Speaking at the event, Sarma termed the laying of weapons by the former members of DNLA a historic moment for Dima Hasao’s forward march towards all-round prosperity and progress.
He credited members of Dimasa civil society groups, intellectuals and prominent public figures for playing the role of mediators in bringing DNLA to the negotiating table in 2021.
The Chief Minister exuded confidence the former rebels would make the best use of the financial grant and become financially self-reliant in days to come.
He said that Dima Hasao had lots of potential for growth and progress on all fronts and that the current dispensation in the state has been working towards ensuring these potentials are harnessed in the most efficient manner.
The Chief Minister said an amount of Rs 6,000 crore would be spent for the improvement of road infrastructure in the region.
He further added that profit from limestone mining shall be shared with the Dima Hasao Autonomous Council.
He also declared that if the Dima Hasao Autonomous Council is able to provide the state government with 100 bighas of land in and around Haflong town, the government would build a medical college there.
Chief Minister Sarma also inaugurated a number of developmental and social projects in the Dima Hasao district. Assam Cabinet ministers Jogen Mohan, Pijush Hazarika, Nandita Gorlosa, Jayanta Mallabaruah, along with a host of other dignitaries, were present on the occasion.