TURA, Feb 25 � The GNLA hit out at its detractors who had questioned its motive to come over ground and join the peace process.
In a press statement, the Political Affairs Secretary Bikdot N Marak reiterated that the GNLA wanted peace not because it was afraid of further military action against it but because of the sentiments of the people of the Garo Hills.
The GNLA in a recent press release had come forward for talks with the condition that its chairman Champion Sangma be released to initiate the peace talks.
According to Marak, the GNLA did not beg to be a part of the peace process, but put forward its demand at the behest of Governor Dr KK Paul, who had asked all militant groups to come forward for talks.
�After several meetings held at the HQ amongst the leaders, well wishers, Area Commander and cadres, we resolved to accept the invitation of the Governor since he is a constitutional head of the State and non-partisan�, it said.
A recent editorial in a local newspaper had been unforgiving in the reason for the GNLA�s offer for talks coming at this time and attributed the GNLA�s fear of police operations for the change of stand.
The GNLA also took a dig at Shambu Singh, Joint Secretary in-charge North East in the Ministry of Home Affairs, who had made a comment on the mushrooming of outfits due to the lure of easy money. The GNLA release said that Singh was an outsider and a bureaucrat and did not understand local sentiments. He was only there to serve the interest of the Centre.
Marak also took exception to the work of the A�chik Volunteers Peace Council (APVC) and its leader Che Guevara. Marak alleged that Guevara was none other than someone from the police.
Marak was defiant in his demand for the release of the outfit�s chairman.