Ceasefire with Meghalaya rebel group extended

September 23rd, 2011 - 10:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, Sep 23 (IANS) The central government Friday extended the ceasefire with the Achik National Volunteers Council (ANVC), a powerful rebel group in Meghalaya, by another one year till Sep 30, 2012.

The decision to extend the seven-year-old tripartite truce between the central and Meghalaya governments, and the ANVC was taken at the Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) meeting in Delhi.

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

“We have agreed in-principle that the ceasefire will be extended for one year from this day,” Joint Secretary in Home Ministry (in-charge of North East Affairs) Shambu Singh told IANS by phone.

The JMG meeting was attended by S.K Jain, the intelligence chief of Meghalaya Police, while the ANVC was represented by its Chief Organising Secretary Torik Janning Marak.

Singh said the extension of ceasefire for one year from the earlier period of three months was to ensure more dialogue with the rebel outfit.

Former Intelligence Bureau director Pradyot Chandra Haldar is negotiating with the ANVC on their demand for creation of a Garoland Territorial Council, in line with Bodoland Territorial Council in Assam.

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

The ANVC, one of the five Garo rebel groups, operates in Garo Hills region and has training camps in Bangladesh.

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

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