SHILLONG, Feb 20 � The A�chik National Volunteers Council (ANVC) today said it has lost patience after waiting for over seven years for creation of a Garoland Autonomous Council and served the government a week�s ultimatum to clarify its position on its demand.
The militant outfit, which is under a tripartite ceasefire agreement with the State and Central Governments from July 23, 2004, said it was extremely disappointed with the slow progress of the ongoing talks for creation of a Garoland Autonomous Council. �The pace at which the talks are being held is extremely slow. We are not at all happy. We are giving a week�s time to the Meghalaya Government to explain the delay,� ANVC spokesperson Torik Jangning Marak said.
The ANVC�s statement came after Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday expressed happiness with the ongoing talks with the outfit, stating, substantive progress has been made.
Blaming the State Government for the delay, Marak said that after more than seven years of negotiation its cadres have faced tremendous hardships and are losing patience.
�Our cadres are getting no support from anywhere, yet we stood together with a hope for a peaceful and acceptable solution, but sadly that�s not happening,� he stated.
The militant outfit said it would be left with no option, but turn to the people and decide on its future course of action if the government fails to fulfil its demand.
�If the government fails to give us an answer soon, we will turn to the people and decide our strategy to fulfil our demand for an independent administrative Garoland Autonomous Council,� he said.
The ANVC earlier demanded for the creation of a separate Garoland, but in later years scaled down its demand to the creation of an autonomous council like the Bodoland Territorial Council in Assam.
The proposed Autonomous Council would include Garo-inhabited areas in Assam�s Kamrup and Goalpara districts and in West Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, apart from the three districts of Garo Hills.
Meanwhile, the Meghalaya Government has turned down the demand saying that creation of such an Autonomous Council is �not feasible� as the State falls under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and already has three existing Autonomous Councils, including the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council.