'Black Widow' militants' surrender will help peace in Assam

      A number of militants recently opted to join the mainstream in response to a call given by the Government. The Centre had given ultimatum to the militant outfit Dima Haolam Daogah (DHD-J) or "Black Widow" to lay down arms by September 15. It encouraged 416 cadre of the Dima Haolam Daogah Jewel Garlosa faction (or DHD-J), more popularly known as "Black Widow" along with the Commander in Chief, Niranjan Hojai, to surrender before Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. The militants surrendered along with 148 weapons including 76 AK series rifles besides 1,130 assorted ammunition, 10 kilograms of high explosives, 244 assorted magazines and 40 radio sets. The formal surrender ceremony was held on October 2 at Haflong, the district headquarters of the North Cachar Hills in Assam . The surrendered 'Commander in Chief' of DHD (J), Niranjan Hojai said the DHD (J) would work for peace and development in North Cachar Hills by actively associating with the government. He also assured that the two national projects, the Broad Gauge conversion and the East West corridor National Highway construction will be completed without any disturbances. Other surrendered militants hailed the step initiated by the Government. "The step taken by the government of Assam and the Central Government is a good one. I believe this will speed up development activities in NC hills which is the most backward region of Assam at present," said Dharmeshwar Bathari, a resident of NC Hills On this occasion, the Chief Minister announced a package of rupees 500 million for developmental activities in the North Cachar Hill district. "We want the upliftment of the people of North Cachar Hills. We have come up with a special rehabilitation package for those who surrendered arms and we will also make a police battalion of the surrendered militants," said Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. Gogoi also said that steps would be taken immediately to initiate development in education, health, road communication and employment generation in the North Cachar Hills. The DHD (J) militants had been spreading terror in the North Cachar Hill District of Assam for the last six years, during which over 300 people were killed. Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram had offered all militant groups in the northeast an olive branch to come forward for talks after giving up violence. The surrender of militants has been welcomed by the residents of the North Cachar Hills and the State as a whole.

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