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ANVC-B threatens to return to jungle

Shillong, Jan. 10: Cadres of the breakaway faction of the A’chik National Volunteers’ Council (ANVC) have threatened to return to the jungle, peeved over the alleged intention of the Mukul Sangma-led government to push them away from the peace pact.

In an open letter to the chief minister dated December 28, 2013, released to the media today, the self-styled political secretary of the ANVC (B) Ajaju R. Marak, said, “We have refrained from all activities that could (cause) harm. We were only brought out to be made easy targets. We will truly return to the jungle, and your government will face all music.”

Marak pointed out that the ANVC (B) cadres are being arrested by security forces for “no reason”.

“This we see as the corrupt policy of your government to make us desperate and frustrated with the sole intention to push us away from the peace pact, which was signed by our chairman (Rimpu Marak) on January 5, 2013, in Shillong. Since the signing of the pact, there was no initiative by the state government to assist, support and rehabilitate our cadres,” he added.

In the letter, Marak also sought a series of clarifications from the chief minister. These include questions on who ordered the hunt for the ANVC (B) cadres, arrest of cadres, absence of a ceasefire agreement with the outfit, why security forces are being allowed to move freely with weapons and a host of others.

“There is so much we want to know from your government — why directives and law are not abided by these people and instead make us targets? We want to know the answer from the government. If there is no response, we will understand and assume your answer as negative,” Marak said.

Moreover, he said, for ANVC (B) cadres, “killing may not be a solution but it is the easiest thing we can do”.

Since the letter was written on December 28 last year, the ANVC (B) political secretary threatened that if no response was forthcoming by January 5, this year (completion of one year of signing of the text of settlement), the cadres would walk out of the peace pact.

“We waited for one long year for the settlement, without any support and assistance from you. We will not stoop further to be hunted. We did not join the pact to be preyed upon by your police,” he added.

Marak also claimed that in the last one year, his cadres have been doing their best to keep the agreed text of settlement “alive”.

On Wednesday, the Meghalaya government decided to extend the tenure of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council by six months. It hoped that the agreed text of settlement with the ANVC, in which the ANVC (B) was also a party, would get the Centre’s nod before fresh elections.