Centre initiates dialogue with Meghalaya militant groups

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Shillong, Mar 25 (ANI): Former Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief P C Haldar who was nominated by the Centre to hold talks with militant groups in Meghalaya has initiated a political dialogue with the Achik National Volunteers Council (ANVC).

The ANVC is demanding for creation of separate Garo Territorial Council.

The people of Meghalaya are watching the talks with eagerness, as the success of talks will ensure peace and progress in the state.

The representatives of the outfit ANVC, a Garo rebel group demanding autonomy, held the first round of talks with the Centre's interlocutor Pradyot Chandra Haldar in Shillong.

The group had entered into a tripartite ceasefire with the Union and the State Governments on July 23, 2004.

As the ceasefire agreement between the government and the ANVC ends on March 31, the group recently threatened to break the truce.

Though the ceasefire extension was not discussed in Shillong, the meeting was termed as "cordial" from both the sides.

"Today, regarding the discussion on our demands, it was very encouraging but we feel it should go ahead. We should have a kind of assurance from the government that our demands are going to be looked into seriously," said Torik Jangning Marak, ANVC spokesperson.

"I had talked with the ANVC representatives. We had detailed discussion (and it was) very fruitful, very useful. We will continue with the discussion further," said P C Haldar, Centre's interlocutor.

The ANVC was formed in December 1995 and was proscribed on November 16, 2000.

In September 2009, the group in a meeting with officials from Union Home ministry, decided to give up its demand for a separate state for Garos.

Instead it put forward the demand for the creation of Garoland Autonomous Council, an autonomous body, for all the three districts of Garo Hills - East, West and South - for effective overnance.(ANI)

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