Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Friday said rebels of the two factions of the A'chik National Volunteers Council (ANVC) will lay down arms in the first fortnight of December.
"It is expected that cadres of both the groups will surrender in the first fortnight of December to pave way for disbanding these two groups," Sangma said.
He was replying to a calling attention motion in the state assembly given notice by Hill State People's Democratic Party legislator Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit.
The Chief Minister said the state government will make efforts to implement the provisions of the agreed memorandum of settlement in order to restore peace, stability and development on sustainable basis.
The ANVC, once a powerful rebel group in the Garo Hills, signed a memorandum of settlement with the central and the state governments September 24 in New Delhi after signing a tripartite ceasefire agreement with the central and the state governments in July 2004.
It was agreed to accord enhanced autonomy to the existing Garo Hills Autonomous District Council and also provide a special package for speedier socio-economic and educational development of the area, besides withdrawal of cases related to non-heinous crimes registered against members of the ANVC.
The group has scaled down its demand for a separate Garoland state to an autonomous council.
The agreed text for settlement was tabled in the Assembly on November 21 of the Winter Assembly Session.
The chief minister also said the government has initiated a process to identify a person acceptable to all stakeholders for appointment as an interlocutor to hold negotiations with the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC).
"We appreciate the positive response of HNLC to the state government's call for all militant outfits to come forward and avail the rehabilitation package," Sangma said.
The HNLC, which runs hit-and-run operations from its hideouts in Bangladesh, has been demanding a sovereign Khasi homeland in Meghalaya.
Meghalaya shares a 443-km border with Bangladesh, part of which is porous, hilly and unfenced and prone to frequent infiltration.