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Ingti Kathar Songbijit breaks silence after coming overground; Here’s what he said

GUWAHATI: People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK) chief Songbijit yesterday broke his silence for the first time since coming overground earlier this month. Songbijit yesterday laid down his arms in front of Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

After the ceremony, which saw altogether 1,040 ultras surrendered 338 arms, Songbijit said that he has laid down his arms “for the benefit of the people.” “We hope that the Indian government will support us and fulfill our demands.”

Asked how he will adjust to the change in environment, Ingti Kathar Songbijit said, “I will have to face this. This will be a great challenge, as I am not used to civilian life. I will try my best to adjust to this life.”
Songbijit further appealed to the people of Assam to “help him” so that the former militants’ issues can be resolved.

“When Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrives in Assam,” Songbijit said, “there will be discussions about the possible signing of a treaty. First, there will be the signing of a ceasefire. Then, we will discuss the demands.”

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Songbijit, who was once the Commander-in-Chief of the NDFB (S) before being succeeded by Saoraigwra, went on to form the People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri with the intention of forming a sovereign nation for the Karbi people.

However, the outfit surrendered yesterday amid relentless anti-insurgency operations by the Centre. Earlier, the PDCK had declared a ‘Unilateral Ceasefire’ with the Centre.

A memorandum has also been submitted addressed to Shah by the PDCK demanding an autonomous state for the Karbi tribal community. They claimed that it is only the ‘viable’ solution towards a harmonious coexistence between the hill tribes and the plain people.

The surrender of arms by seven outfits such as the PDCK, Dima Halam Daogah (DHD), and the Karbi Peoples’ Liberation Tigers (KPLT) will deal a major blow to insurgency in the state’s three hill districts – Karbi Anglong, West Karbi Anglong, and Dima Hasao.

According to some reports, Songbijit has resurfaced to contest the elections in Assam, which will head to the booths in April next.

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