Rebel group asks Assam-based groups to leave Meghalaya

August 15th, 2011 - 6:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, Aug 15 (IANS) The A’chik National Volunteers Council (ANVC), a powerful rebel group in Meghalaya, Monday told the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) to leave the Garo Hills region saying the two groups were associated with Pakistan’s spy agency ISI.

“They (ULFA and NDFB) are under direct influence of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence and were involved in various attacks in Garo Hills in the last couple of months. They should quit Garo Hills in the next 20 days starting from today (Monday),” ANVC Spokesperson Torik Jangning Marak said.

In a statement, Marak accused the ULFA and NDFB together with the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) with having killed more than eight people including three Meghalaya policemen in the recent past.

The ULFA and NDFB have formed strategic alliances with the GNLA, an off-shoot of the ANVC. Both the Assam-based rebel groups have transformed the GNLA into a violent group with access to sophisticated arms and ammunitions.

The GNLA, which is fighting for a ’sovereign Garoland’ in the western areas of Meghalaya, is headed by Champion R. Sangma, a rogue policeman.

“Even now they are holed up at various places planning attacks. We don’t want to turn Garo Hills into another Assam. Therefore, they should immediately leave our homeland,” the ANVC leader said.

The ANVC which is fighting for creation of Garoland Autonomous Council is currently on a tripartite ceasefire with the central and state governments July 23, 2004.

The ANVC group operates in Meghalaya’s Garo Hills region. The outfit has scaled down its demand for creation of separate Garoland state to an autonomous council in line with the Bodoland Territorial Council in Assam.

Meghalaya, especially the Garo Hills region, is being used as a safe haven for various northeast-based militants groups including the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) [NSCN-IM], the ULFA and the NDFB.

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