Foreigners in ANVC delaying rehab: Sangma

SHILLONG, Apr 24 – Claiming that “foreigners” in the ranks of Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC) and its breakaway militant faction are delaying the rehab process of the cadres who surrendered, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma today said the relief packages are only meant for “genuine citizens of this country.”

The Chief Minister said a verification process was on to identify the genuine citizens, who would benefit from the rehabilitation package after they return to their homes.

“We have information that there are cadres who are not genuine citizens of this country. The rehab packages are not meant for foreigners,” Sangma said. Admitting that there was delay in releasing the rehab package for the cadres who had formally signed a peace pact, the Chief Minister said it was due to the continuing identification process. Senior police officers said the physical verification for ANVC has been completed, while their breakaway faction, the ANVC-B, were yet to respond to the call.

“Till now they (ANVC-B) have not come for physical verification of their cadres. They are not cooperating with the guidelines,” an officer said.

The two militant groups laid down arms on December 15 last year, marking the beginning of a long drawn peace process after they signed a tripartite ceasefire agreement in 2004.

Their leaders Dilash Marak and Bernard N Marak for ANVC and ANVC-B respectively signed the affirmation for the disbandment, and surrendered arms before Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and his Cabinet colleagues at Tura.

Over 500 cadres of both the outfits had attended the grand function.