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Surrendered Bengali-Hindu militants back BJP-AGP-UPPL in Assam election

TAMULPUR: Surrendered militants of the National Liberation Front of Bengali (NLFB) today threw their weight behind the BJP-AGP-UPPL combine for the ongoing polls in Assam, going so far as to urge all Bengali voters to cast their ballots for the saffron alliance in the final two phases.

Surrendered members of the militant organization today congregated at Baksa district’s Tamulpur where they extended their support to the UPPL candidate Leho Ram Bodo.

Asked why the former militants are supporting the ruling alliance, the organization’s leader Krishna Poddar said: “We are in discussions with some of the top officials of the Assam government and they have assured us that they will resolve our problems.”

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He further added that headway has been made in the rehabilitation process of the militants. “Hiren Nath (IGP of Assam Police’s Special Branch) has assured us that the process is going smoothly and we are therefore optimistic.”

Assam has a rehabilitation programme for surrendered militants in place. They get financial assistance from the government and can also avail of a bank loan to start a business or invest the money in farming or entrepreneurship, according to officials.

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The NLFB leader further urged all the Hindu-Bengalis to vote for the BJP-AGP-UPPL-GSP combine in the ensuing elections. “In Tamulpur Constituency, I urge all the Bengali voters to cast their votes for Leho Ram Bodo as we have full confidence that he will win,” Poddar said.

301 surrendered extremists belonging to the National Liberation Front of Bengali (NLFB) surrendered at an official ceremony in Guwahati in January of 2020 after the Centre’s enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Altogether 644 extremists, belonging to eight banned outfits, surrendered at the official ceremony.

The Tamulpur Assembly constituency will go to polls in the third phase of the Assam Assembly election along with 39 other Assembly seats on 6 April.

The Election Commission announced the poll dates for the Assembly election in Assam on Friday (26 February). Elections in Assam are being held in three phases between 27 March and 6 April.

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