IMPHAL: In one of the largest mass surrenders by militants, 68 ultras, including four women, belonging to different militant outfits, laid down their arms during a 'Home Coming Ceremony' held here today.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh applauded the "bold" step taken by the militants, who had decided to shun the path of violence and "join the process of peace and development".
He said violence would not solve any of their issues and urged other militants to come forward for a political dialogue.
Stating that the previous policy for surrendered militants was a "total failure" and a review of it was needed, Singh said a "new, revised policy" was awaiting a final approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The chief minister said the state government would extend "all possible help" to protect the lives of those who had laid down their arms.
The mass surrender of militants comes days after Singh informing that he had sent "feelers" to the insurgents, asking them to come overground through proper channels.
Director General of Police L M Khaute said of the surrendered militants, 23 including four women belonged to the proscribed Kangleipak Communist Party, 17 to the United National Liberation Front, 10 to PREPAK, seven to PREPAK (Pro), seven to the Revolutionary Peoples' Front and four to the Kangleipak Yawol Kanba Lup (KYKL).
Other top officials of the police, Assam Rifles and CRPF were also present on the occasion.