Responding to militant outfit Dimasa National Liberation Armys (DNLA) unilateral ceasefire announcement for six months, the Assam government said on Thursday that it would also stop security operations against the outfit for one month, officials said.
The Assam cabinet in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma decided to stop security operations against DNLA for one month.
“During this time (one month), members of the militant outfit cannot carry arms or declare bandhs,” an Assam government official said.
The DNLA, which was formed in 2018 and reportedly carried out extortion and abduction activities in Dima Hasao and the adjoining Karbi Anglong districts, had on Tuesday declared unilateral ceasefire for six months following the peace overtures of the Assam Chief Minister.
The outfit in a statement, which was made available to the media on Thursday, announced that in a ‘goodwill gesture’ and as a positive response to the call of peace by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa, the DNLA is hereby declaring ‘unilateral ceasefire’ for six months for creating an atmosphere for peace talks with the Government of Assam and the Government of India.
“The DNLA hopes that the Government of Assam and the Government of India would reciprocate action for meaningful discussion,” the statement said.
The militant outfit had on August 26 killed five truck drivers of a cement company besides injuring three others in Dima Hasao district.
The DNLA extremists fired several rounds at the truck drivers and others before setting six of the trucks on fire. At least seven drivers and assistants of the trucks managed to flee inside the nearby jungles when the extremists fired on them from sophisticated weapons.
The Dima Hasao district, formerly North Cachar District, one of Assam’s three hill districts, was earlier a hotbed of militant activities, but in the recent years it did not see any major extremist violence.
In May, the security forces had gunned down six DNLA cadres in the Dhansiri area of Karbi Anglong district. Arms and ammunition were also recovered from their possession.
The operation of the security forces was launched after the DNLA rebels killed a villager in the area. Several top leaders of the militant outfit were earlier arrested by the security forces.
Meanwhile, top DNLA leader Shana Singh, reportedly involved in the recent killing of 5 truck drivers, has been apprehended by the security forces from Naharbari area of Dimapur in Nagaland, the police said on Thursday.