ANLA sinks with top guns

20 cadres of Adivasi outfit surrender
Nagaon, Feb 2 : The five-year-old Adivasi National Liberation Army today lost its rudder when its commander-in-chief surrendered before the army at Karbi Anglong along with its other top military cadres.
The surrender came not long after the arrest of its previous commander-in-chief John Toppo in Nagaland and founder Nirmal Tirkey in Jharkhand.
The current chief, Biren Gond, alias Sanjay Lakra, who took charge just a month back after Toppo’s arrest in Dimapur in December last year, is said to be the man behind the surrender.
He laid down arms at the surrender ceremony at Sariajan in Bokajan subdivision along with Udalguri district commander Bharat Rajwas, alias Rajib Dhan, Golaghat commander Arjun Gour, Sivasagar commander Francis Tirki, alias Sanjib Ghatowar, and Karbi Anglong district commander Uttam Dhangra, alias Rahul Tanti.
At least 15 cadres followed their leaders.
“The new commander-in-chief confirmed the intention of senior ANLA cadres to surrender a few days back. Right now the group does not have any senior or responsible member other than 80 to 100 grassroots cadres. It is rudderless at the moment,” said a senior police official.
Floated in 2003 with Karbi Anglong and Golaghat as its base, ANLA became the militant face of the Adivasi demand for Scheduled Tribe status by 2005, with help from the Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (I-M).
It grabbed the headlines in December 13, 2007, when it triggered a blast on the Rajdhani Express at Chongajan, killing four persons. The militant group had expanded its base to Udalguri, Kokrajhar and Sivasagar districts after establishing itself as an influential organisation in Karbi Anglong and Golaghat.
“The ANLA had plans for January 26 but Republic Day passed off peacefully as all its senior cadres had decided to surrender before that,” an army source said.

The rebels today surrendered eight 9mm pistols, a carbine, 66 detonators, two timer devices, five IEDs, 129 live ammunition at the ceremony attended by Brig. Ranbir Singh of 181 Mountain Brigade, commanding officer of 6 J&K Rifles, Col Pawan Bhardwaj, Maj. Gautom Pathania, also from 6 JK Rifles, and Bokajan civil SDO P.K. Gogoi.
The path for today’s surrender was chalked out on December 26 last year, when four senior cadres, including Nirmal’s deputy Sanjay Bhengra, were arrested in Bokajan.
“We collected the names of all the hardcore ANLA cadres still involved in the movement in Adivasi-dominated areas of Assam. All those top leaders surrendered today,” said an officer of 6 JK Rifles.