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Report sought on Deborah attack
Govt keeps eye on ANVC-B moves

Shillong, Nov. 26: The ANVC (B), a breakaway faction of the Achik National Volunteers Council, has come under the Meghalaya government’s scanner following a surge in its activities in the recent past.

“We are examining the activities of the ANVC (B). No doubt its activities have increased in the recent past and we are closely monitoring them,” a senior official told reporters here today.

He was reacting to a query on whether the state government would recommend to the Centre to declare the ANVC (B) as a banned outfit.

The breakaway faction, led by Rimpu N. Marak, came to the fore earlier this year and the government estimates that the outfit does not comprise more than 100 cadres.

“Based on our assessment, the outfit has not more than 100 cadres and they all are armed,” the official added.

He said the state government had sought a detailed report from East Garo Hills deputy commissioner Vijay Kumar Mantri and superintendent of police Jerry F.K. Marak about the attack on PCC working president Deborah C. Marak by alleged ANVC (B) armed cadres on Saturday.

“We have also taken note of the demand made by Meghalaya PCC president D.D. Lapang demanding a high-level inquiry into the incident, but the government is still awaiting a report from the district administration,” he added.

On Saturday evening, Deborah Marak had a narrow escape in Rongbinggre village, around 11km from Williamnagar in East Garo Hills, when around 10 heavily-armed militants, allegedly owing allegiance to the ANVC (B), opened fire while she was about to distribute prizes after a football tournament.

In a statement issued today Rimpu stated that his outfit has “nothing against” the former deputy chief minister. “We have nothing against Deborah, but we are against the irresponsible leaders and the wrong system of campaigning. The good part is somebody is talking now. I expect a lady of her position to apprise the AICC of what the Mukul Sangma government is bringing on the Congress as a whole,” Rimpu stated.

He also said that the outfit would support “free and fair elections”, which will give an opportunity for true leaders to rise. “In the past, leaders bought votes and only the wealthy triumphed. But this time, in order to bring change to the Garos, it will have to be fair at all levels,” Rimpu added.

He alleged that some of the Congress candidates have “affiliations” with the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA).

“It is surprising to see a line-up from one particular camp of the party, which undoubtedly has the backing of the GNLA. We have been studying the nexus and now the plan is visible as GNLA’s low profile in the last few weeks is intended to show results before the elections. Most of these candidates campaign without prior information,” the ANVC (B) chairman said.

Rimpu also stated that all armed groups in the forest are “not GNLA anymore”.