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Sunday, 15 January 2012

Birsa Commando Force, an Adivasi rebel outfit, has decided not to lay down arms before January 26, a move that could be a major embarrassment for Dispur.





Outfit defers arms surrender

OUR BUREAU
Guwahati, Jan. 14: Birsa Commando Force, an Adivasi rebel outfit, has decided not to lay down arms before January 26, a move that could be a major embarrassment for Dispur.
The decision assumes significance as it comes two days after chief minister Tarun Gogoi announced that the outfit, along with eight other rebel groups, would be laying down arms before January 26.
CMO sources said the surrender ceremony would take place on January 24.
The commander-in-chief of the outfit, Bir Singh Munda, told The Telegraph today that their central committee had yesterday adopted a resolution in a meeting at Bongaigaon against surrendering arms until and unless both the state and central governments signed an agreement of understanding with them based on their demands.
“None of our demands have been met and we have not received any kind of facilities that we ought to get during the course of our talks with the government. So we have decided not to surrender arms till we find an honourable solution,” Munda said.
The development reflects the absence of homework by the government before making the announcement.
Formed in June 1996, the outfit had declared ceasefire in 2004 and had agreed to engage in negotiations with the government. Their demands included ST status for Adivasis living in Assam and a state under Article 244(A) of the Constitution, among others. The outfit’s current strength is 450 according to Munda.
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday had announced that nine rebel groups of the state — Birsa Commando Force, Adivasi Cobra Military of Assam, Santhal Tiger Force, Adivasi People’s Army, All Adivasi National Liberation Army, Kuki Liberation Army, United Kukigram Defence Army, Kuki Revolutionary Army and Hmar People’s Convention — would be laying down arms on January 24.
Munda, however, said the state government had made the announcement without discussing it with them or reaching an agreement with them.
“The pressure put upon us to surrender is a policy of the Assam government to eliminate us. Such attitude and treatment will not be tolerated but will be faced courageously. So we have come to a decision that all Adivasi armed organisations and civil society groups will fight together,” BCF chairman Durga Hasda said in a statement.