Monday, June 17, 2024
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State Govt yet to respond on GNLA ban

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By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The State Government is yet to submit its opinion to the Ministry of Home Affairs on whether the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) should be banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Informing this to The Shillong Times here on Monday, a senior government official on condition of anonymity said, “The main objective behind this exercise of the Centre is to know the State Government’s mind on this issue”.

The senior government said the matter was still being examined by the State Government.

When asked if the State Government had earlier written to the Centre seeking a ban on the GNLA, the official denied it saying “It is the prerogative of the Centre. The State Government has no role to play in this regard”.

The Centre had sought the opinion from the State Government on whether the outfit, led by former Meghalaya deputy superintendent of police, Champion R. Sangma, should be declared a banned organisation.

“We are expecting the Meghalaya Government to submit its views at the earliest,” the Joint secretary, in-charge North East, Shambu Singh, said recently.

Earlier this year, the Centre had deputed two units of the elite Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) and five companies of BSF personnel to assist the state’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) commandos to tackle GNLA militants.

To boost the morale of policemen to fight insurgents in the state, the government recently hiked the ex gratia to the family of slain personnel from the current Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh each.

The relatives will also get the full salary and other increments by calculating the age of retirement.

After the retirement age of the policemen, the government will also provide pension to the family of the deceased.

So far this year, 10 policemen – five havildars and five constables – have been killed by the GNLA in different parts of Garo hills, especially in areas falling under East Garo Hills district.

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