"Black Widow" Surrenders
Assam has seen a lot of bloodshed in the past by rebel factions demanding autonomous states. One such militant group today formally laid down arms and joined mainstream. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi sounded positive and announced a INR 50-crore package with promise to get more funds released for the development of North Cachar Hills district. With today's surrender of 386 cadres a total of 416 cadres of the Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel), also known as Black Widow have come over ground by now. The cadres surrendered in total 148 weapons, including 76 AK series rifles, 23 M series rifles, five machine guns, more than a thousand assorted ammunition and 10 kg of high explosives along with rocket launchers, grenades and wireless sets.
Niranjan Hojai the Commander-in-Chief of DHD (J) pledged his commitment to peace by declaring that he would co-operate with the administration to ensure the timely completion of the twin national projects of the East West Corridor and railway gauge conversion. This surrender is being termed as the single largest surrender by till date in the North-East. Senior state govt. ministers and officials were present at the ceremony with thousands of civilians. The function coincided with the birthday of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi which is also celebrated as the International Peace day by the United Nations.
Chief Minister Gogoi in a very positive speech delivered in Hindi said, "This seems to be the most backward district in Assam and we are going to make it the most developed district. I take upon myself the responsibility to develop the district. I am announcing Rs 50 crore towards its development and promise to get more from the Center if we have peace."
Gogoi also said that the government would float two police battalions for the surrendering rebels and look into all legitimate demands made by the rebels. The rebels had submitted to the state government a Eight-point charter in March this year which includes allocating an autonomous "state-within state" under article 244(A) of the Indian Constitution, a separate parliamentary constituency comprising of NC Hills, granting general amnesty to all cadres as well as release of those already captured, renaming the district as Dima Hasao Raji among others. The faction's Chairman, Jewel Gorlosa is already in judicial custody after being arrested in June this year.
The rebels while surrendering also made it clear that the government has 100-days to respond to the demands failing which they would retreat back to the jungles. Hopefully the things would get better and people of this region would be able to live with peace and see the light of development.