From guns to guitars this Independence Day
Shillong: Once they use to speak the
language of guns. Now they have chosen the strings of guitar
to send across their message.
While six militant groups have called for a boycott of
the Independence Day celebrations in the Northeast, one
outfit, currently under ceasefire, is organising a rock
concert for peace to mark the day.
The Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC), under
ceasefire since 2004, has organised the rock concert at Tura,
the district headquarter town of West Garo Hills in Meghalaya
Ironically, another rebel group of Meghalaya,
Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) has called for
a 36-hour bandh the same day.
In previous years, the bandh called by HNLC has been
affecting the Khasi-Jaintia districts.
ANVC spokesman Torik K Marak said the concert will
start at 3 pm at the district auditorium. "Five prominent
bands of Tura will perform, including some members of the
outfit," he said.
"ANVC is not into violence. Our objective is to focus
on peace in Garo hills. We are very serious about the peace
talks with the government," Marak said from Tura.
The district administration is supporting the
"They (ANVC) have ceased all operations against the
state. They came up with this idea. We have all reasons to
support them," district commissioner Sanjay Goyal told PTI
adding that the initiative would send a positive signal to the
people and create an atmosphere of faith.
"It is a welcome gesture by the ANVC but sadly enough
it does not percolate down to the HNLC`s head," observed S B
Kakati, the State Director General of Police (DGP).
The rebel group, the ban on which had expired in
November, 2008, has around 175 cadres.
Formed in December 1995, the ANVC had entered into
a tripartite ceasefire agreement on July 23, 2004, which has
been extended every three months.
There have been two rounds of talks with the
interlocutor so far.
Earlier in March, ANVC had a meeting with Centre`s
interlocutor P C Haldar in Shillong over their demand for a
separate Garoland Territorial Council, an autonomous body for
all the three districts of Garo Hills East, West and South
on the lines of Bodoland Territorial Council in Assam.
They have been insisting on this council after
dropping their demands for a separate Garoland state.
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