Govt mulls steps to take on Garo ultras
From Our Correspondent
TURA: Expressing serious concern over recent spurt in militant activities in the three districts of Garo Hills Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma held an important review meeting of the security apparatus here Monday in which he called for a complete restructuring of existing police outposts with deployment of additional forces to take on militants and thereby instill a sense of security among the citizens.
The security review assumes significance given that GNLA militants have been spreading terror in several areas of East and South Garo Hills districts. The outfit in close coordination with the ULFA has been expanding its area of influence and just a week ago ambushed a police party leading to the death of three security force personnel and serious injury to two others.
The review meeting was attended by Social Welfare Minister JA Lyngdoh, IGP Western Range GHP Raju, deputy commissioners of West and South Garo Hills Sanjay Goyal and Dr BDR Tiwari respectively among others.
The Chief Minister told the gathering of senior security officials and bureaucrats that presence of police is of utmost importance in instilling a sense of security among the citizens.
Calling for due attention to be paid to the restructuring of outposts in vulnerable areas he asked the Home department to work out their requirements for additional forces that would be given on a priority basis.
The IGP Western Range, GHP Raju, during the meeting gave a detailed submission on the current situation. He pointed out that despite having committed police officers with a strong squad, policing is not adequate in the region and the entire policing activity was confined to National Highway 62 and 51 areas.
He was of the view that there is a need to take policing to the interior villages where militancy is growing with the support of NDFB and ULFA.
He highlighted on the alarming cases of extortion notes being served to the coal traders, businessmen and government servants. He mentioned specifically that in South Garo Hills the Nokmas were being used to serve extortion notes; he however said that they were not “hand-in-glove” with the militants but were being “compelled”, adding that, they have already taken up the matter with the Council of Nokmas.
He did not fail to mention the success story of the force which had successfully busted militant camps and the large number of cadres coming over ground following relentless pressure by security forces. He exuded confidence the police force remains prepared to take up any challenge.
Stating that the city surveillance mechanism was the need of the hour, the IGP also underlined the need for more bullet-proof vehicles and excellent gazetted officers (GOs) with dedicated forces exclusively to take on the militants.
Among other issues raised at the security review meeting, the Chief Minister raised his concern over the rising cases of car-lifting, particularly the two-wheelers and sought detailed report from the police on the matter.
He also took up the issue of rising robbery incidents in Mahendraganj border belt that has created a fear-psychosis among the residents, to which the IGP replied that the department have taken steps to strengthen the police force and also to take the support of the village defence parties in the area.