GUWAHATI: Two Meghalaya militant outfits were disbanded on Monday after their cadre surrendered on Monday.
A tripartite pact signed by Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC) and its breakaway faction ANVC(B) with the Union and Meghalaya Governments in September paved the ground for the surrender ceremony. Altogether 748 militants - 447 from the ANVC and 301 from the ANVC(B) - surrendered by laying down arms and ammunitions before Chief Minister Mukul Sangma at a ceremony at Tura in West Garo Hills. The Chief Minister welcomed the rebels’ return to the mainstream.
“It is exemplary courageous to be part of the mainstream. It demonstrates that violence can never be a solution to problems. The pain and misery can now be a thing of the past. We have reasons to believe that the cult of violence will stop with this historic day,” he said.
“Many have taken advantage of the vicious trap of violence and perception that Garo Hills are neglected. The wrong perception has brought militancy in Meghalaya. Through violence they will not be able to set things right. The last two decades have been virtually the lost decades for us,” Sangma said.
He said his government would provide spiritual and career counselling to the cadre so that they could avail of the multiple job opportunities. “Everyone should be able to contribute to peace and development,” he added. The ANVC said it embraced arms in protest against the alleged exploitation of the Garos and that they had embraced arms to protest the injustice done to the Garos.