SHILLONG, Jan 6 – The Union Home Ministry on Saturday said that it would take a decision of not holding any discussion with insurgent groups anywhere in the country in the days ahead, but demand their unconditional surrender.
Shambhu Singh, joint secretary ministry of Home Affairs said that each time the Centre holds talks with one insurgent group with its set of demands another surfaces with its own set of demands.
“The issue is that every time you talk to a group a small remnant of the group breaks away and again continues with its illegal and totally prejudicial activities and then thinks that it will be given the same moral high ground and high table to sit and discuss and put across its demands which are basically nonexistent…they better surrender,” Singh stated.
“We might take a decision of not holding any talks with any group anywhere, this policy decision in the pipelines,” Singh said after its meeting with the Garo Hills based militant organisation, Achik National Volunteer’s Council (ANVC).
Meanwhile, after getting more than what it earlier demanded, the ANVC said after its meeting with Home Ministry officials and State Government, that it would sign a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) in the next week.
Calling its meeting “fruitful” Arist Sangma, ANVC “publicity secretary” said that after today’s meeting its 13 charter of demand would be sent to the State Government for further studies and the MoS would be signed next week and after that it would surrender all its arms to the Government. Its 168 cadres would also move out of the two designated camps after the MoS is signed.
The ANVC which was demanding for a Garoland Autonomous Council in line with the Boroland Autonomous Council has now settled for extended powers to be given to the Garo Hills Autonomous Council (GHADC).
Some of the prominent points that the Centre has agreed to, Sangma said is about direct funding to the GHADC and its strength would be increased from the present 30-memebers to 40 members. The ANVC has demanded that two of its cadres be automatically be nominated to the Council by the Governor.
In the direct funding pattern, the Centre would direct the fund for the Garos hills region through a State finance commission, which in turn would fund the GHADC to carry out development works in the districts of Garo Hills.
Another significant decision that would be undertaken is that the municipality would be abolished and the wards would be brought under the GHADC. “We have got more than we demanded,” Sangma said happily after the four-hour long meeting with the officials.
Asked about the demand of their earlier demand of a Garoland Autonomous Council, Sangma said, that only the nomenclature of the GHADC has remained unchanged, and most of their demand has been included in function of the GHADC, which is what they wanted.
In the meeting, the breakaway faction of the ANVC also came forward for the talks and Sangma said that they too have expressed satisfaction on the outcome of the meeting. The breakaway faction came after an appeal from the Chief Minister Mukul Sangma. It wasn’t clear immediately what set of demands the new group presented to the Home Ministry officials.