Meghalaya govt signs peace pact with militant outfit

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Tura (Meghalaya), Dec 19: Meghalaya government on Dec 18 signed a peace pact with yet another militant outfit, the United A'chik Liberation Army (UALA) which was active in the Garo Hills region of the state.

This is the third peace pact by the state government after the ones signed with ANVC and its breakaway faction, the ANVC-B, last year.

Terror group

The outfit was formed in 2012 with the demand for a separate Garoland to be carved out of the state. The outfit, which has a cadre strength of 71, began its dialogue with the government in December last year and held at least four round table discussions before declaring for peace officially.

Chief Secretary P B O Warjri said the government will facilitate the procedures to rehabilitate the cadres of UALA in which the government will give Rs 2.5 lakh to each of the cadres.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and Home Minister Roshan Warjri were present when the pact was signed in Tura, headquarters of Garo Hills division.

Sangma termed the signing as "historic" and hoped it would pave way for other militant outfits to shun violence and follow suit.

UALA Chairman Novembirth Marak alias Chiindik and General Secretary Nagra D Shira were the signatories for the outfit while the government representatives were Commissioner and Secretary Garo Hills Division, Peter W Ingty and Commissioner and Secretary, Political Department, Jopthiaw Lyngdoh.

PTI

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