Atotal of 15 militants of the Eastern Naga National Government (ENGG) along with the outfit chief Tosham Mossang surrendered before Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Sunday.
The rebels surrendered with arms and ammunition during a homecoming ceremony organised at police headquarters in Itanagar, officials said. Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, state Home Minister Bamang Felix along with Assam Rifles officers, state senior civil and police officers were present at the function.
The other rebels who surrendered include self-styled colonel Chopsai Pangsa and Wangjen Pangtha, self-styled major Daniel Sankey, captain Maithangla Tikhak, lieutenants Monpi Mamai and Samhon Songthing, sergeants Wangwa Hatum and Hemraj Pradhan, the SIT SP Rohit Rajbir Singh said.
The others were self-styled captains Netra Kumar Rai, Limpha Khimsing, Khunglun Mossang and Bainong Mungrey and self-styled second lieutenant Lungphang Jugli, he said.
Nine Chinese-made MQ series weapons, two AK-47 rifles, one Chinese-made pistol, 19 magazines, 415 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, five rounds of 9 mm pistol, four Chinese grenades, one under barrel launcher with fins and six walker talkie were deposited during the ceremony, Singh said. Terming the event as “historic”, Khandu lauded the combined offensive and negotiating efforts of Assam Rifles and state police in convincing the cadres to shun violence and join the national mainstream.
“Gun culture is not a solution to the problem. Today’s surrender is a positive move by the outfit to restore peace in the state. I am optimistic that other groups will follow suit in the days to come,” he said.
Assuring the surrendered rebels of government support for their rehabilitation, Khandu said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision is to restore peace in the Northeast. As a result, many rebel groups in the region have already started peace talks with the respective state governments and many have already joined the mainstream.
Speaking to reporters, Felix said that ENNG has now become “almost non-existent” after the surrender of its chief along with 14 others.
The outfit shot to prominence in January 2015 under Mossang. The purported aim of the outfit was to fight for the demands of Myanmar Eastern Nagas and the Nagas of Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts, Singh said.
Its cadres were involved in extortion from various business establishments, coal and timber traders, contractors and public representatives. Cases of waging war against the state, murder and attempt to murder have been registered against elements in the outfit, he said.
ENNG cadres were active in Longding and Changlang districts of the state and set up a camp near Lungpang village under Rima-Putok circle in Changlang district, which was demolished by security forces in recent times besides their camp at Lungruk in Myanmar.
Around 20-25 cadres have been active in the organization through different periods and have sophisticated arms, he said.
In the last few weeks, seven rebels of the outfit were apprehended by the joint action of police and security forces in the operative region along with arms, Singh said.
Maj Gen Vikas Lakhera from HQ IGAR (N), Brig Swarn Singh, Commander of HQ 25 Sector, state chief secretary Dharmendra and DGP Satish Golchha also attended the surrender function.