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Fate of talks with splinter groups hangs in balance

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  13 July 2015 12:00 AM GMT

A Correspondent

Shillong, July 12: Union Home Minister Rajth Singh's refusal to talk with splinter groups in Garo Hills has put a spanner on the efforts of the State government to bring them to the mainstream.

It may be mentioned that last year, the Meghalaya Home department had appointed three interlocutors for negotiating talks with the splinter groups in the Garo Hills, barring the Garo tiol Liberation Army (GNLA).

It may be noted that on Saturday, chairing the meeting of Chief Ministers of northeastern states, Singh expressed concern at the mushrooming of splinter groups in Garo Hills.

Making it absolutely clear that the Centre would not talk to such "crimil elements", Singh had said, "There objective is kidpping for ransom or looting traders at gunpoint."

The Union Home Minister also said that he wanted to make it clear that the Government at the Centre will not talk to such crimil groups as this will lend legitimacy to their crimil acts.

The splinter groups which had declared their presence in western Meghalaya include the United A'chik Liberation Army (UALA), A'chik Song An'pachakgipa Kotok (ASAK), A'chik tiol Unit Force (ANUF), A'chik tiol Liberation Army (ANLA), A'chik Tiger Force (ATF), A'chik tiol Central Liberation Army (ANLCA) and A'chik Matgrik Elite Force (AMEF).

Recently The Sentinel had reported that the United Achik Liberation (UALA) is on the verge of signing a peace pact with the State government pending approval from its commander-in-chief Norok Momin.

Last month, 12 UALA leaders under Novembirth Marak have conveyed to the top state officials their inclition to unconditiolly sign a peace pact.

The UALA which submitted a list of 72 members has not yet disclosed its armory sources. However, intelligence inputs suggest that the UALA owns around a dozen AK rifles, few small arms and local made weapons. These were weapons taken away from the ANVC (B), a disbanded outfit that Norok Momin deserted before forming the UALA.

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