IMPHAL, July 20 � A total of 72 armed underground cadres belonging to eight different groups operating in Manipur laid down arms and surrendered to the Assam Rifles authority in a home coming ceremony here today.
Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh accompanied by Home Minister Gaikhangam and Director General of Police Y Joykumar besides Inspector General of Assam Rifles (South) Major General UK Gurung welcomed the ultras by receiving the arms and ammunition in presence of relatives of the underground cadres.
The surrendered underground cadres belong to United National Liberation Front (UNLF), People�s Liberation Front (PLA), Kangleipak Communist Party, People�s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Prepak), Kuki National Liberation Front (KNLF), Manipur Naga Revolutionary Front (MNRF) and People�s United Liberation Front (PULF).
�A large number of weapons including AK-47s, G3 Rifles, Lathode, Carbines and pistols were surrendered,� said PRO Assam Rifles (South) in a press release.
Speaking on the occasion, Ibobi said peace is the foremost necessity for progress and development. He said that prolonged armed movement in Manipur has not achieved anything for the people of the State except bringing disorder and chaos in the society.
Urging everyone for bringing peace and normalcy in the State, he added that the government�s door is always open for negotiation and talks. He also lauded the role of the Assam Rifles in facilitating the surrender and helping the misguided youths of Manipur through various rehabilitation programmes.
Major General Gurung told the media that the Assam Rifles troops who have been guarding the Indo-Myanmar border have been alerted to monitor the movement of the anti-social elements across the border.
The home coming ceremony came close on the heels of another home coming ceremony at Leimakhong army headquarter, where 52 cadres of a Kuki underground outfit, the United Tribal Liberation Army (UTLA) led by their commander in chief Robert Singson laid down arms in front of the Chief Minister and Army authority.