UPDS cadres bid farewell to arms

Diphu: Underground outfit United People's Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) cadres bid farewell to arms on Wednesday with 568 of them, including 22 women, surrendering with a huge amount of arms and ammunition here.

Led by UPDS general secretary Haren Sing (Sing) Bey in the presence of the outfit's chairman L S Siner, the insurgents laid down arms before Assam Director General of Police Sankar Barua at the Karbi Anglong Sports' Association (KASA) stadium.

The huge cache of arms and ammunition deposited included 177 rifles, including 85 AK series rifles, five M-16 rifles, eight 303 rifles, two US carbines, three self-loading rifles (SLRs), five starling carbines, one universal machine guns (UMG), 18 9-mm pistols and a rocket launcher.

There were 322 magazines, 18740 rounds ammunitions of 1173 rounds of AK series rifles bullets, 631 bullets, four G3 mortars, one G4 mortar, official sources said.

The surrender was part of the Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) of the tripartite peace accord signed by the Karbi ethnic militant outfit, the Centre and Assam government in Delhi on November 5.

Since entering into a ceasefire agreement with the Centre in May 2002, the outfit had held six rounds of talks with the state and the Centre till 2006.

UPDS was formed in March 1999 with the merger of two terrorist outfits in Assam's Karbi Anglong district - Karbi National Volunteers (KNV) and Karbi People?s Front (KPF).

Its ceasefire agreement with the Centre, however, led to a split in UPDS with one faction continuing with its militant activities and rechristening itself as Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front and its armed wing as Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Resistance Force in May 2004.