Garo rebel group threatens to break truce
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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 yesterday.

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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