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ANVC to return to jungles if ceasefire not extended
Correspondent SHILLONG, JUN 29:
Published on 30 Jun. 2010 12:03 AM IST
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The A’chik National Volunteers Council (ANVC), a powerful rebel group in Meghalaya Tuesday threatened to go back to jungle if government refuse to extend the ceasefire indefinitely. The ceasefire agreement will expire Wednesday.
“We wanted the government (centre and state) to extend the ceasefire agreement so as to facilitate regular discussions and interaction on our demands,” ANVC spokesperson Torik Jangning Marak told reporters.
The militant group fighting for creation of Garoland Autonomous Council had entered into a tripartite ceasefire with the central and state governments July 23, 2004.
The rebel group operates in Meghalaya’s Garo Hills region.
The outfit scaled down its demand for creation of separate Garoland state to an autonomous council in line with the Bodoland Territorial Council in Assam.
“We have submitted proposal for an indefinite ceasefire agreement to the centre, but the Meghalaya government is yet to recommend the same”, Tarak said.
“We have met Home Minister (HDR Lyngdoh) on our proposal and hope they react positively else we will be forced to go back to the jungle,” the ANVC Spokesman said.
Putting pressure on the government, the tribal Garo militant outfit asked its cadres to move out of their peace camps to undisclosed areas.
Meghalaya Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh said that the state government has nothing to say on the ANVC proposal of ceasefire extension.
“It is a routine matter (ceasefire agreement) and needs recommendation of the state,” Lyngdoh said
Meanwhile, the opposition Nationalist Congress Party has expressed concern about the situation arising out of the uncertainty of the extension of the ceasefire with the ANVC.
“The situation in Garo Hills is alarming considering reports in newspapers regarding the ANVC shifting it’s cadres to undisclosed camps,” NCP Spokesman James Sangma said. He said the situation has the potential of worsening the already poor Law and Order situation in Garo Hills.
“The Home Minister should come out with a categorical statement clarifying the stand of the state government on the extension of ceasefire with ANVC,” Sangma said.
Another outlawed outfit, Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), has been demanding a sovereign Khasi homeland in Meghalaya.
According to the Meghalaya police officials, the HNLC is closely linked to the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland and the National Liberation Front of Tripura.

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