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Garo rebel group threatens to break truce

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 14:14

Tura (Meghalaya): The Achik National
Volunteers Council (ANVC), a Garo rebel group under ceasefire
since 2004, has threatened to break the truce if the Centre
fails to come up with a `workable solution` to its demands.

"Though the Centre had in 2008 said the ceasefire
would be indefinite, last month they informed us that it would
be periodic. This is a violation of the earlier agreement,"
ANVC Publicity Secretary Arist Sangma told reporters here
Expressing reservation about the Centre?s `attitude`,
he said, "we have come down from our demand for separate
statehood to an autonomous council in the format of Bodoland
Territorial Council in Assam, which is very much
constitutional and acceptable. The government should state
clearly whether they want a solution or not."

The ANVC said it will seek public opinion on whether
to continue to the ceasefire or go back to the jungles.

The Centre had appointed former IB chief PC Haldar to
hold talks with the outfit which was informed by the
government representatives during a meeting last month that
the ceasefire will continue till March 31 next after which it
will be reviewed.
When asked, Meghalaya DGP SB Kakati said, "we are
monitoring the situation. It is a matter of concern, but I
think it can be sorted out."

"They (ANVC) are not happy with the treatment. (They
contend) Nothing has been said about the extension of the
ceasefire. But, I hope once the interlocutor meets them, the
situation should stabilise," Kakati told agency.

The ANVC, formed in 1995, had resorted to armed
struggle for a separate Garo state till it reached a
tripartite agreement with Centre and state on July 23, 2004.

In July, 2008, the Centre decided to extend the
ceasefire for an indefinite period.

In September last year, the group decided to keep its
demand for a separate state for Garos in abeyance for the time
being and instead put forward the demand for the creation of
Garoland Autonomous Council, an autonomous body, for all the
three districts of Garo Hills East, West and South for
effective governance.

It also submitted a memorandum to New Delhi, demanding
direct funding to the proposed council.

While around 80 cadre of the group are overground,
according to police there are also a few who have deserted the
outfit and are still in the jungles carrying arms.


First Published: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 14:14

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