Hundreds Of Ex-rebels Lay Down Weapons In India

Published January 24, 2012 7:45AM (EST)

GAUHATI, India (AP) — Hundreds of rebels in jungle fatigues have lined up to surrender their weapons after insurgent groups in northeast India signed cease-fire deals and began peace talks toward ending a three-decade insurgency.

The 676 insurgents came from nine of the more than 30 different rebel groups that began fighting in 1979 for independence or greater autonomy for their ethnic communities in state of Assam.

The green-clad fighters handed weapons over to authorities Tuesday in a sports stadium in Assam's capital of Gauhati.

Senior army and police officers stood by as Home Minister P. Chidambaram assured the ex-fighters they would be embraced back into society and "enjoy equal rights now that you have shunned violence."

By Salon Staff

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