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Garo militant groups to sign pact with Centre, State govt: CM

By EMN Updated: Sep 17, 2014 10:49 pm

Shillong, SEPTEMBER 17

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] peace pact with at least two Garo militant groups in Meghalaya will be signed in New Delhi next week on September 24 with the Centre and the state government, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said today.
“The final signing of the text agreement for settlement will be signed next week on September 24 in Delhi,” the Chief Minister told reporters after a meeting with the leaders of the Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC) militants here.
He said the peace pact will be signed with the ANVC and its splinter group, the ANVC-B whose leaders did not attend. Both the groups had signed the peace settlement in
January last year aimed at bringing peace in trouble torn Garo Hills region consisting of five districts in Western Meghalaya. The initial demand of the ANVC was for the formation of a Greater Garoland, but at a later stage, the outfit demanded formation of a Garoland Autonomous Council in line with the Bodoland Territorial Council.However, after it was found to be not viable since the state has district councils, the ANVC agreed to strengthen the district councils especially the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council with more seats and additional powers.
There was delay in the final peace settlement since the Centre wanted clarity on the number of seats which needs to be increased from the present 30 in GHADC to 40 and also the increase of seats in other two Autonomous Councils in the state.
Stating that the armed ANVC would be disbanded after then final peace settlement is signed next week, the outfit’s spokesperson Arist Sengrang Sangma said the leaders would pursue the cause of greater Garoland through non-violence methods.
Asked on the other armed militants groups operating in the Garo Hills region whose ideology were also similar to the ANVC, Sangma said, “They are different groups and they are not part of the settlement (signed).”
“Politically they have to negotiate with the Government Our main demand was greater Garoland. Once we disband, we will still keep on demanding the Garo land but not through arms struggle,” he said. The parent organization had signed a tripartite agreement way back in 2004.

By EMN Updated: Sep 17, 2014 10:49:27 pm