ANVC B to pursue demand for Garoland

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Front Page

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Dec 04: The now disbanded faction of the Achik National Volunteer Council {ANVC(B)} has made clear its intention to pursue the demand for a separate Garoland state.
In a statement issued here on Tuesday, former ANVC.B chairman Bernard N Marak said, “The demand for Garoland will continue as it is the aspiration of our people. But since it is a political demand, we will pursue it at a political level. We need people to raise voice at the centre rather than taking up arms. We need people with vast knowledge to lead the mass movement.”

Stating that Garoland is a political demand which was outside the purview of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), he said the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) were within the jurisdiction of MHA for which Agreed Text for Settlement focused in ADCs.
“Agreed Text for Settlement was signed to first strenghten the existing ADCs and then we were to move politically with the demand for Garoland as talks were not at political level but at MHA level,” he said adding “There was no political backing for Garoland at that time. It would be wrong to say that we gave up on Garoland demand. We getting politically involved is for Garoland.”
He said during talks, the organization agreed to first come to the settlement with an aim to strenghten ADCs then continue with the demand for Garoland politically.
“That is one reason why Dilash and I joined BJP. We wanted to do away with Congress for cheating us and for not acknowledging the aspirations of the people. Our people died yet there was no solution,” Marak said.
He added that the ceasefire was signed during BJP and settlement was also done during BJP rule.” Congress played with their corrupt tactics for 10 years. We were obligated to BJP for fast tracking a decade old negotiation.
Talks still continue on the line of our primary demand but for now ADCs need to be bailed out. Saying ‘no’ to Garoland would be a total betrayal to the vows we made to our people.”
Meanwhile, the former leader also pointed out that the memorandum submitted by ANVC.B mentioned about devolution of funds to the grassroot level through the village level institutions which is not confined to Garo Hills alone but to all areas where Garos reside within the state. That is why the amendment will benefit not only people living in Garo Hills but also Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills, he stated.


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