New Delhi: Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma on Monday raised the twin issues of Inner Line Permit (ILP) and demand for a separate Garoland, that are affecting normal life in the Hill State, at the National Integration Council (NIC) meeting held at the Vigyan Bhawan here.
Dr Sangma, however, asserted that the State Government would deal with the situation with a firm hand.
“Meghalaya today faces a series of agitation from groups demanding the implementation of ILP but the government has remained firm (on its stand) and is maintaining law and order,” Dr Sangma said adding that the State Government is committed to maintain its ‘social and political integrity’ at all costs and the same can be achieved by securing peace in all the 11 districts of Meghalaya.
“To ensure peace, the law enforcement (authorities) should be proactive, firm and just,” he added.
Talking about the Garoland agitation, Dr Sangma said the statehood demand in the Garo Hills region was not a recent phenomenon and has often been incorporated into the ostentatious agenda of various insurgent groups in the past.
“Government has been adopting democratic means to deal with the issue as well as various other matters linked with insurgency in Garo Hills,” the Meghalaya Chief Minister said.
“We have not allowed the law and order situation to deteriorate and it is our endeavour and firm commitment that people of all communities should be able to live in an atmosphere of security, communal amity and brotherhood in the State,” Dr Sangma said.
Dr Sangma informed that the Meghalaya Government under the aegis of the State Security Commission (SSC) has given impetus and support to setting up of Citizens’ Committees in all the police stations.
“The officers in-charge of police stations hold outreach programmes to bring members of all communities together and discuss ways and means to foster inter-community harmony,” he said.