As many as 31 cadres of different valley-based underground groups, including female cadres, laid down their arms before Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Wednesday at a ‘Homecoming Ceremony’ held at the Banquet Hall of 1st Battalion, Manipur Rifles, Imphal.
The 31 cadres surrendered 15 arms, including one M-16 Rifle, one M-4 carbine, one Lethod gun, one Single Barrel Rifle, 11 Pistols and one 12 mm bore pistol along with five cartridges, three lathod shells, one IED and three live rounds.
Addressing the ceremony, CM Biren said that this is the trust or faith towards the centre and state government that more and more militant outfits are coming back to the mainstream. He hoped that they would join work to build a progressive Manipur and leave a better future for the generations to come.
He recalled the words of union home minister Amit Shah and said, "No FIR will be registered and not a single bullet will be fired when militant outfits are surrendering".
Since 2017, the mission-oriented organisation has worked to bring peace and tranquillity in the state. Now, while compared with twenty or thirty years back, the atmosphere of Manipur’s unrest has totally changed, it is becoming calm, CM Biren said.
“Once again I would like to appeal to security forces who are operating in the state to co-operate with Union and State government policy so that the so-called outfits may come and join the mainstream”, Biren said and added that it is an open invitation from the Union Minister as well as from himself.
Under the Revised Scheme for Surrender-Cum-Rehabilitation of Militants in the North East State, 2018 of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, rehabilitation benefits given to the surrendered cadres include a onetime financial grant of Rs 4 lakh to each in addition to a monthly stipend of Rs 6000 and incentives for surrendered weapons, CM Biren said. The one-time grant will be put in their respective bank accounts as a fixed deposit for three years. Surrendered cadres will be housed in a rehabilitation camp for three years, where they will get various vocational training, the CM added.
DGP P Doungel confirmed that so far 788 cadres from different outfits have joined the mainstream through various rehabilitation schemes.
Wednesday's Home Coming Ceremony at 1st Manipur Rifles Banquet Hall was attended by council of ministers, MLAs, DGP P Doungel, chief secretary Rajesh Kumar, top brass from Army and Assam Rifles.