Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Deborah pins blame on intelligence failure

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By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: MPCC working president Deborah Marak, who came under the attack of ANVC (B) militants on Saturday, has blamed intelligence failure for the violent episode that occurred at Rongbingrre in East Garo Hills.

“According to my sources a group of militants had been camping and waiting for me in a nearby school building for a very long time, but remained undetected by the intelligence agencies,” Marak, who arrived in Shillong from East Garo Hills on Sunday, said.

Aggrieved over the incident, Marak said that she would write to the Chief Minister and the State Home Minister to take necessary steps to contain the trend.

She has also decided to file an FIR with the East Garo Hills police to investigate the matter.

“This is the first time in Meghalaya that a militant group has openly disrupted a function attended by innocent women and youth,” she said, adding that during the negotiation with the militants, she had even asked them to spare the villagers.

“I told them that if they want they can shoot me but not the villagers,” Marak said.

As many as 10 armed ANVC (B) militants had gheraoed Marak and fired several rounds in the air creating panic at the public gathering.

While escaping from the scene, Marak, her sister and other women supporters sustained injuries.

The incident took place at around 3.45 pm when Marak was in the podium for a prize distribution ceremony for the winners of Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee Working President Football Tournament.

According to Marak, the militants totting AK series rifles had covered half of their faces and wore light green camouflage dresses.

“The militants did not identify themselves and they also did not tell me the exact reason why they disrupted the function, but they told me they had given their statement of opposition to the campaigning by legislators, in the newspapers which I am not aware of.”

They also wanted to negotiate with me and my reply was that they should negotiate with the Government for their various grievances, Marak said.

The former legislator further said that the militants had also asked her not to come back.

Marak, however, asserted that she would continue to campaign in her constituency and complete the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee Working President Football Tournament in several villages.

She also said it was wise on her part not to take security personnel along with her during the prize distribution ceremony.

“It is by the grace of God that I survived and if I had taken the security men along with me during the function, there would have been bloodshed thereby affecting the lives of poor villagers,” Marak said.

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