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Conrad takes ANVC rehabilitation issue to Parl

Calls for early implementation of peace pact

From C K Nayak

NEW DELHI: NPP MP Conrad Sangma on Thursday urged both the Centre and the Meghalaya Governments to take immediate steps to implement the peace agreement signed with the ANVC over two years ago, failing which the cadres will get further demoralized and in all probability fall back to insurgency thus swelling the woes of the already troubled Garo Hills.
Delivering his maiden speech in Parliament here on Thursday, Sangma said that non-implementation of the agreement with the ANVC will only induce the surrendered cadres to take up arms again.
“Left high and dry, the cadres have not got even a single rupee despite being promised a lot by both the State and the Central government,” Sangma said while cautioning that some of them are even toying with the idea of going back to the forest and create splinter groups.
The Tura MP also demanded the amendment to the Sixth Schedule as proposed earlier.
He drew parallels of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the North East which he said hits the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
“In both the regions, development should precede peace,” he added.
Sangma also urged the Centre to withdraw the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers’ Act from the disturbed regions for it “has created a lot of ill will and caused suffering to the civilians”.
The young MP said that due to the faulty policy of the governments in the North East and Jammu and Kashmir there is a war like situation in the regions.
“The agitating civilians in J&K and North East are not fighting against us or our country. They have been driven to that situation by the wrong handling of certain vital issues,” he added.
“There is a lot of politics even while discussing serious situations with one party blaming the other,” Sangma lamented.
He also criticized successive governments for putting more security personnel on the border thus putting their lives at great risk.
“In today’s age of technology we  should have the best of infrastructure in place along the border where our jawans can reach in minutes instead of becoming easy targets of the enemy despite expenditure of crores,” he said.
The Deputy Speaker tried to remind Sangma of the time limit but the other MPs requested the chair to grant him more time.
He also called for the strengthening of the intelligence network of the country to effectively deal with insurgents.

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