ANVC peace pact on Sept 24
SHILLONG: After a decade-old ceasefire with ANVC, the militant outfit and its break- away faction -ANVC-B – will ink the final tripartite peace pact with the Central and the State Government in New Delhi on September 24.
Emerging from a meeting with the ANVC on Wednesday, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma informed newsmen that the final signing of the memorandum of settlement with the outfit will be held in Delhi on Wednesday next in the presence of State and Central Government functionaries.
The Chief Minister said the date was communicated to the State Government by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
Though the ANVC-B leaders were not present during the meeting on Wednesday, its leaders will be in Delhi during the official signing of the peace pact.
The Chief Minister said that with the signing of the peace pact, a conducive atmosphere will prevail in Garo Hills.
According to the Chief Minister, the signing of peace pact will give a strong message to the youth and members of different organizations to understand the futility of indulging in various criminal activities which bring only undesirable results.
To a question on why Garo Hills was not chosen as the venue for inking of the peace pact, the Chief Minister said that the Centre wanted to involve many people. Moreover it was a quick decision, hence the pact will be signed in Delhi, he said.
The Chief Minister said the details regarding the peace package will be made known only on September 24 after the signing of the pact.
ANVC publicity secretary Arist Sangma told reporters that the outfit came to know about the date for signing of the peace pact only on Wednesday during the meeting with the Government.
“The peace pact is a good sign after a long wait and we welcome it,” he added.
The ANVC leader, however, said that even after the peace pact, the militant outfit will still press for the fulfillment of its original demand for a Greater Garoland politically and through the means of non violence.
After the signing of the peace pact, within three months, both ANVC and ANVC-B will be disbanded.
While some arms were deposited with the Government by the ANVC, some more will be submitted to the Government in due course of time.
However, the ANVC-B is yet to deposit any arm and ammunition with the Government.
While there are as many as 161 cadres in the ANVC rank, the number of cadres with ANVC-B stands at 151.
Besides Arist Sangma, ANVC political secretary Doreng Malja Sangma, liaison officer Togan Marak and joint secretary Janggam G Momin were present at the meeting.
The final signing of agreement comes after the draft peace pact was signed in January, 2013 in Shillong by both factions of the ANVC together with representatives of both the State and Centre governments.
Formed in 1995, the ANVC had entered into a tripartite ceasefire with both the State and the Centre on July 23, 2004.
On November 16, 2000, the ANVC was declared as a banned organization and subsequently after some year, the ban was lifted.
However, in 2012, the breakaway faction of ANVC announced the formation of ANVC-B with Mukosh Marak as the self-styled commander in chief.
Later, former ANVC leader Bernard Marak became the self styled chairman of ANVC-B taking the name of Rimpu Marak.
The initial demand of the ANVC was the formation of a Greater Garoland, but later they insisted for the creation of Garoland Autonomous Council.
Since the State already has three autonomous district councils, the ANVC scaled down its demand to empower GHADC with more subjects under the Council’s administration.
Another ANVC demand of increasing the strength of the district council was also agreed by both the State and the Centre.
The strengthening of GHADC will automatically strengthen the two other district councils in the State – the KHADC and the JHADC.
As per the agreement, there will be increase in the number of seats both in the KHADC and the GHADC from the existing 30 to 40 seats while in JHADC there will be 34 seats as against the present strength of 30.