Shillong: More than 400 armed Garo militants of Meghalaya will receive pardon for their crimes, an official peace pact tabled by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Friday said.
"Criminal cases registered against members of Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC) for non-heinous crimes shall be withdrawn by the state government," a tripartite peace pact signed by Centre, the state government and ANVC and its splinter group ANVC-B said.
"Criminal cases registered against ANVC members for heinous crimes shall be reviewed case by case according to the existing policy on the subject. Steps for withdrawal of such cases will be initiated by the state government," it said.
The tripartite pact signed on September 24 in the presence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief Minister Mukul Sangma also includes increasing the numbers of members to Garo Hills Autonomous District Council from 30 to 40, and giving tribal council additional powers in administration and organisation within its jurisdiction.
While the armed outfits will have to disband within December 24, both the outfits have over 300 members, with cases related to killing, extortion and kidnapping registered against many of them.
The parent organisation had signed a tripartite agreement way back in 2004.
The ANVC claimed to have over 250 members while the ANVC-B said they have 300 members and several of them have come forward to their respective base camps in West Garo Hills district.