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Civil society calls peace summit in Tura

Tura, Jan. 23: Civil society organisations in the Garo hills will converge here this Saturday with a clarion call for peace. The top agenda for the Peace Summit is to make an appeal to militant outfits to shun violence and come forward for talks.

Civil society in the Garo hills is set to adopt a resolution to urge outfits to ensure peace for progress and development. They are likely to pledge a declaration to request outfits to eschew peace. Church members and pressure groups from Tikrikilla, Baghmara, Dainadubi, Phulbari and Ampati have confirmed their participation.

The organisers have appealed people to take part in the summit which will be held at Tura District Auditorium.

An activist from Phulbari told The Telegraph, “Peace is the need of the hour and the people have to come forward to support it. If the people of the region do not come forward, neither the government nor the police will be able to control the growth threat of insurgency.”

Jimrich M. Marak, an activist from Kharkutta, said, “We have had enough of violence and bloodshed. It is time to act, to stop the menace. The growing insurgency has come as a stumbling block for development. We have to ensure that militancy is wiped out once and for all.

He added, “We appeal to the government to take definite steps to ensure this phenomenon is not repetitive or the whole peace process would be a non-starter.”

Another activist from A’chik Mothers Association told The Telegraph, “The government is to be blamed for the mess. It is time to do something concrete to ensure that the misguided youths do not take up arms anymore.”

Terming the government’s efforts to bring all outfits under the ambit of A’chik National Volunteers Council (ANVC), she said, “The ANVC should attempt to ensure that all outfits come under their banner to ink peace settlement. Otherwise, the whole exercise will be futile.”

Jaynie Sangma, who has taken the initiative to organise the summit, said, “We hope people will come forward for the cause of peace and the militant groups listen to our earnest appeal.”