Sunday, July 14, 2024

Mukul warns GNLA ‘patrons’


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By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma has warned the ‘patrons’ of the GNLA, saying, the Government would not spare any one who is patronising the State’s most dreaded militant outfit.

Addressing a press conference here after his return from the US, the Chief Minister said, “It will be disastrous for those people who are patronising GNLA.”

He, however, refused to comment on any possible politician-militant nexus in the State.

The alleged politician-militant nexus in Garo Hills has come under the scanner with reports reaching the police that the nascent outfit enjoys political patronage.

According to Dr Sangma, the Government has access to all inputs and capacity to find out if the militant outfit is under the patronage of anybody.

The GNLA recently warned of triggering serial bomb blasts in prime targets in Shillong and Garo Hills towns demanding a halt to the combing operations by security forces against the outfit in the jungles of Garo Hills.

Interestingly, despite all its illegal activities, the government has not declared the outfit as a banned organisation so far.

The Chief Minister while stating that the government would go all out to neutralise the GNLA, said he had sought additional forces to counter the outfit during his recent meeting with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.

On the GNLA’s demand for a separate Garoland, the Chief Minister said, “Any body can come up with noble ideas to justify their militant activities.”

There are many people raising the same demand without using guns, he pointed out.

The GNLA was involved in several killings in Garo Hills besides abduction of government officials and businessmen for ransom.

ANVC demands

The Chief Minister also said the government is examining the demands of the ANVC.

The outfit, currently under ceasefire with the government, wants a Garoland Autonomous Council (GAC) to be formed in line with the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in Assam.

“We require further study on the matter before giving our final views on their demands,” he said.

The ANVC has expressed its concern several times over the delay by the State Government in submitting its recommendations on the outfit’s demands to the Central Government.

Boundary dispute: On the delayed boundary talks between Meghalaya and Assam, the Chief Minister said the talks would begin very soon since the elections in the neighbouring State are over now.

“We will ensure that talks are resumed at the earliest,” Sangma said.

The dispute between the two states took an ugly turn last year when four innocent villagers lost their lives during “indiscriminate firing” by Assam police at Langpih village along the inter-state boundary.

A committee headed by the chief secretaries of the two states is yet to start its scheduled talks to draw a permanent solution to the long-pending border problem.

The Chief Secretary of Meghalaya is, however, prepared for the talks with all the modalities and claims over the disputed border areas.


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