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802 Bru militants surrender before govt

Written by: Staff
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Tuipuibari, Mizoram-Tripura border, Oct 26: The nine-year-long ethnic conflict between Mizo and Bru (Reang) tribals seems headed for a peaceful resolution with 802 Bru Liberation Front of Mizoram (BLFM) laying down their arms before the Mizoram government here this morning.

The state government is now hopeful that the mass surrender might end Bru outfit's activities.

State home minister Tawnluia, state home secretary C Ropianga, chief secretary Haukhum Hauzel, DGP Sailo and Assam rifles officials formally received the BLFM cadres.

The surrendered BLFM rebels deposited 70 firearms, explosives, AK series rifles, 20 live rounds of ammunition, one 9mm carbine, two 9mm pistols, two explosive grenades, one mortar, two .22 revolver, two 22 Rifles and 37 country-made pipeguns to Assam Rifles last week. Which was formally handed over to Mizoram police today.

Speaking on the ocassion, state Home Minister Tawnluia said the state government would provide Rs 40,000 to each of the surrendered militants besides free ration for one year in transit camps at Damparengpui and Tuipuibari villages of Mizoram.

''Mizoram is one of the peaceful states of the country and our government must protect the image at any cost'', he said.

Talking to UNI here, Mizoram SP-CID Lal Dhina said initially 757 BLFM militant were willing to shun the path of violence, but finally the number rose to 802.

The BLFM had earlier submitted a 16-point charter of demands, including formation of an autonomous body for the reangs and 10 per cent reservation for the ethnic group to the government among other demands.

The Reang tribes left Mizoram and took shelter in six camps at Kanchanpur subdivision in North Tripura following fierce ethnic violence between the minority Reangs and majority Lushais (Mizos) in October 1997.

The communal violence erupted in Mizoram as the Reangs raised demands of a separate autonomous council for them besides several other issues.

At one point of time, there were about 41,000 displaced Reangs in North Tripura camps and within one year Reang militancy began with a section of displaced youths taking up arms and creating terror in Mizoram.

UNI

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