Shillong: Seeking to end bloodshed in the militant-hit Garo Hills region of Meghalaya ahead of the assembly polls, officials of the union Home Ministry and state government will be meeting here this week with the Garo militant group, the Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC).
A tri-partite meeting with the ANVC seeks to end bloodshed through a final settlement and would have representation from the Home Ministry, the militant outfit leaders and the state government for which the draft agreement would be officially signed by the concerned parties.
Formed in 1995, the proscribed ANVC outfit fighting for a separate homeland of the Garos in the state and neighbouring Assam signed a tripartite suspension of operation pact in July 2004.
“Keeping the interests of the people of the region as the uppermost consideration and guided by this framework of mind, it should be possible to find a settlement mutually acceptable to all stakeholders," Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said.
He said the issues raised by ANVC too have always received the highest consideration of the governments and "I keenly look forward to a positive outcome."
Admitting that the Garo Hills region have suffered enough on account of militancy and resulted in immense hardship to the people, Mukul appealed to the break-away faction of the outfit, the ANVC-B to join the meeting.
“If they have the welfare of the people of Garo Hills as their upper most priority, then they should take advantage of this occasion and contribute in arriving at a settlement that would usher in an era of peace and development (for the Garo Hills region),” he said.
The final settlement agreement is a wrapping up of formal process of peace negotiation between the government and the outfit.