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ANVC faction allays fears

Shillong, May 6: The breakaway faction of the A’chik National Volunteers’ Council (ANVC) today appealed to NGOs not to be apprehensive about the move to set up a designated camp for its cadres in the Khasi hills region.

The Meghalaya government plans to establish at least two designated camps, one in North Garo Hills district and the other, which is likely to be between West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills districts, for ANVC (B) cadres.

The move to set up a designated camp along the West Khasi Hills-South West Khasi Hills border has been strongly opposed by several NGOs in the region.

A government official today said it was awaiting reports from the deputy commissioners of the three districts for finalisation of location of the designated camps.

The official also said at least one of the designated camps would be set up along the West Khasi Hills-South West Khasi Hills border for the ANVC (B) cadres who hail from the Garo-dominated areas falling within the jurisdiction of these two districts.

In a statement, ANVC (B) publicity secretary Doang Shira said the group had asked for the designated camp in the Khasi hills as “half of its cadres” come from this region.

“We are coming forward to join the mainstream through peaceful process which, we believe, is no threat to other communities. The Khasi NGOs should not be apprehensive of the official process that aims to bring peace and development,” Shira said.

He added that the proposed camp is in the Garo-dominated areas which lack basic infrastructure.

Moreover, he said having a camp in Garo-dominated areas is “mandatory” to complete the peace process with the ANVC (B).

“Surprisingly NGOs never highlighted the backwardness of the Garo-dominated areas of Khasi hills in the past. Therefore, opposing the proposed camp now is pointless. In the past, there was an attempt to delete the names of Garos from the electoral role,” Shira stated.