Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Tuesday appealed to the anti-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) led by Paresh Barua to join the ongoing peace process.
Speaking at a surrender ceremony in Assam`s main city of Guwahati where 676 militants laid down weapons in the presence of union Home Minister P Chidambaram, Gogoi said: "Today again I appeal to Paresh Barua faction of the ULFA to join in the peace process. Our doors are open. Join in the peace process."
"But we will deal firmly with those who continue to indulge in violence. We are going to be very hard against those who have taken a hard line. We are not going to tolerate militants taking law in their hands," Gogoi added.
He welcomed the surrender of militants of nine outfits, saying it was a step forward in solving the three decade old insurgency in the state.
Lauding the Central government`s support in combating militancy, Gogoi said that while 827 people, including civilians and security personnel, were killed in terrorism-related incidents in the state in 2000, only 28 civilians were killed last year.