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Peace pact with UALA on cards

SHILLONG: A peace settlement with Garo rebel outfit United A’chik Liberation Army (UALA) will be arrived at shortly.
Giving this indication, a senior State government official told reporters on Thursday that talks was in progress with the UALA cadres and a settlement would be arrived at soon.
The UALA has submitted a list of as many as 70 cadres for the settlement and the state government is monitoring the progress of the talks initiated by the church leaders.
It was on June 12 this year that the state government formally held a high-level meeting in Shillong aimed at signing the peace pact with UALA, a breakaway faction of ANVC-B formed by Norrok X Momin alias Singbirth Marak.
The official-level meeting was attended by senior officials of the state Home and police departments besides the top leaders of UALA and interlocutors from Garo Hills.
Earlier, several rounds of talks were held at Tura between UALA and church leaders to work out the modalities for laying down arms and to help the cadres to join the mainstream.
Following the formation of UALA in February 2013 by Norrok who was the action commander of ANVC-B,  Novembirth Marak, a former self-styled general secretary of GNLA, joined the outfit as its chairman in October, 2013.
Earlier,  police had pointed finger at Norrok, who was with ANVC-B, as the mastermind behind the attack on Williamnagar jail in February, 2013 resulting in the death of two jail officials – Assistant Jailer Neil Warjri and Warder Sarai Singh Thabah, even as the ANVC-B had denied the charges.
Moreover, Novembirth, who is also part of UALA was arrested twice -first in November 2010 from Siliguri and again in June last year from a hospital in Guwahati.
Besides the strength of over 70 cadres, UALA has in its possession arms and ammunition which the outfit brought from ANVC-B camps before forming the outfit.
Besides attracting the youths from Garo Hills, the UALA also recruited Garos from Goalpara district of Assam as they wanted to fight for the cause of Garos in Assam.
Earlier, police had unearthed the involvement of UALA in the killing of seven people, six from Rabha tribe in Goalpara on November 3, 2013 prior to the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council elections as UALA  had opposed inclusion of Garos in Assam in the  Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council (RHAC)
According to a police report, UALA was also involved in Garo-Rabha conflict in RHAC area of Goalpara and the neighbouring Kamrup (Rural) district.

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