Imphal: All members of the United People`s Party of Kangleipak (UPPK) insurgent group on Friday surrendered before authorities in Manipur to join the national mainstream.
The rebels, numbering about 78, handed over 38 sophisticated weapons, including AK Rifles and a few thousand rounds of ammunition of different weapons at a programme here, Principal Secretary (Home) of Manipur government Suresh Babu said.
Welcoming the insurgents who "have come overground and will hold peace talks with the government", Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh said there was no room for violence in a democratic setup and appealed to other insurgent groups to join the national mainstream and participate in development work.
The laying down of arms by a large number of insurgents showed that violence was no longer wanted by the insurgents and the general people were also fed up with the continuing unrest in the region, Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam said.
Director General of Police, Y Joykumar, was also present at the programme.
Babu said the insurgents who laid down arms would be properly rehabilitated and in the initial stage, each of them would be given Rs 2.50 lakh which will be deposited in the bank under `fixed deposit scheme`.
He said a memorandum of understanding was signed before the laying down of arms for initiating peace talks with the government.
Besides Suresh Babu, who signed the MoU on behalf of the Manipur government, Joint Secretary in the Union Home Ministry Shambhu Singh and UPPK president A Bonbihari were the other signatories.
Official sources said the government was constructing designated camps for the surrendered insurgents.
More than 200 insurgents of Kangleipak Communist Party and Kanglei Yawol Kann Lup-Military Defence Force surrendered to the government on February 13 last along with 138 sophisticated weapons and they would also be joining peace talks with the government, the sources said.