Extortion threat on missionary school in Tura

TURA: The Catholic Church in Garo Hills has announced a day of closure of all its educational institutions on May 20 in protest against a recent extortion demand made to one of its missions in Ampati by a Garo militant outfit.

A demand for ‘tax’ to the tune of Rs. 5 lakh was made to the Catholic institution by a militant group calling itself A’chik National Liberation Army (ANLA), informed sources from the laity. The demand was made to the institute on the May 14.

The militants have warned that the mission must pay ) up to its demand on or before May 20.

The Catholic Church has strongly condemned the ongoing militancy and extortion being done by self-styled groups of individuals, families and institutions on a charitable and educational institute.

The Church has made a firm stand that it would not succumb to the pressures of extortionists and militants.

“No money or ransom would be paid to any anti-social groups irrespective of whatever the consequences might be. The Church firmly stands by its earlier resolution,” informed the Catholic Diocese of Tura.

To protest against the extortion threat, a series of measures are being taken up by the Church which includes closure of all its institutes on Tuesday. There would also be a day of prayer and community animation on Sunday.

“We appeal to all people of ‘Good Will’ to cooperate and work towards peace, progress and prosperity in Garo Hills. We also appeal to the various groups to stop inhuman and unchristian activities,” announced the Church in a communiqué.

It also pointed out that militancy and extortion were leading Garo Hills into utter lawlessness, sense of fear and insecurity, price rise, increase in poverty and poor quality of education.

The Catholic Church has a large number of educational institutions, next to the government, imparting education for young students particularly in the rural areas where government machinery has always under performed. It also runs several health centres and a hospital in Tura

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