ANVC peace pact to be inked post-budget session

SHILLONG: The official signing of the peace settlement between the ANVC and the State and Union governments will be done after the Budget session of the Parliament, an official of the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Thursday.

The Centre has already approved the proposal for implementation of Agreed Text for Settlement (ATFS) signed between the Government of India, the Government of Meghalaya and the ANVC on February 28 this year.

Earlier, a draft peace pact was signed in January 2013 in Shillong by the ANVC-ANVC B factions together with representatives of both the State and Centre.

Joint Secretary (NE), Ministry of Home Affairs, Shambu Singh, said over phone on Thursday that since the Union Government has already approved the pact, the formal signing of the same will be carried out after the Budget session. The Budget session of the Parliament is scheduled from July 7 to August 14.

The official also ruled out any change in the Agreed Text for Settlement by saying that the Centre had already given its nod to the same.

It took almost 10 years for the two governments to sign the pace pact with ANVC as it was on July 23, 2004 that the ANVC had entered into a tripartite ceasefire pact with both the State and the Centre. Later, in the early part of 2012, there was a split in ANVC with the formation of ANVC-B led by Mukost Marak as self-styled commander-in-chief and Rimpu Marak as chairman.

However, the ANVC-B became the signatory to the agreement during the official level meeting held in January 2013, here to finalize the draft peace pact.

Though the initial demand of the ANVC was for the formation of a Greater Garoland, and subsequently for the creation of Garoland Autonomous Council, the outfit scaled down its demand to seek empowerment of the existing Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC).

The peace pact with ANVC will also benefit the KHADC and JHADC as these councils will also be empowered as per the proposal.

The finalization of the peace pact was delayed after the Centre had sought some clarification in December 2013 on the number of seats which is slated to be increased from the present strength of 30 members in each Council.

The State Government had clarified to the Centre that it plans to increase the number of seats both in the KHADC and the GHADC from the existing 30 to 40 seats and in JHADC to 34 seats from the present strength of 30.

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