Rebel group voices concern on slow negotiations

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

SHILLONG - The outlawed A’chik National Volunteers Council (ANVC), a powerful rebel group in Meghalaya, Wednesday blamed the state government for the slow pace of political negotiation for the creation of an autonomous council.

“We are not happy with the undue delay of the political negotiations. We wanted a solution to our demand but the government seems not to be serious. We are closely watching on it,” ANVC spokesperson Torik Jangning Marak told IANS by phone.

The rebel group is fighting for creation of Garoland Autonomous Council in Meghalaya’s Garo Hills region and had entered into a tripartite ceasefire with the central and the state governments July 23, 2004.

In fact, the ANVC had scaled down its demand for creation of separate Garoland state to an autonomous council in line with the Bodoland Territorial Council in Assam.

“The Meghalaya government has assured it would send its views and comments on our demand to the centre but they haven’t done so till date,” Marak said.

That apart, Marak also accused the Meghalaya government of delay in distribution of funds to the ANVC cadres sheltered in two peace camps - Jetra and Samanda - and ANVC’s liaison office at Tura, the district headquarters of West Garo Hills.

“The Meghalaya government has not disbursed the monthly stipends meant for the ANVC cadres for the past six months and other funds for maintaining our liaison office,” the ANVC spokesman said.

“The centre has even sent a note to the Meghalaya government to clear all the pending funds meant for us. But we don’t know what is on the mind of the state government. That’s why, we are keeping a close watch on it,” Marak said.

The ANVC maintains few camps in Bangladesh.

Meghalaya shares a 443-km border with Bangladesh, part of it porous, hilly and unfenced, and prone to frequent infiltration.

Filed under: Terrorism

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