‘Govt pushing youths to militancy’
SHILLONG, Sep 20: KSU president Lambokstar Marngar on Monday said the people sitting in the Secretariat should be answerable to why the state’s youth were forced to take up arms by joining the banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council.
“Many of our youth who had joined the militant outfit lost their lives. The people who are in power should be held responsible for forcing these youths to take up arms,” he said while speaking during the sit-in organised by the Ka Sur Ki Nong Mawlai at the Civil Hospital junction.
The demonstration was held to condemn the government for not suspending the top police officers for the alleged fake encounter on August 13 in which former HNLC leader Cheristerfield Thangkhiew was killed.
Marngar said he was not sure if the police claim that the four youths arrested recently for seeking the support of the NSCN (I-M) to float a new militant outfit in the state was true or false. But he said the youth of the state are frustrated and depressed due to the failure of the state government. “I foresee many youths ready to join the militant outfit due to the negative attitude of the government,” he said.
Lambasting the state government for failing to suspend the top police officers, Marngar said they will continue to support the Ka Sur Ki Nong Mawlai in their future agitational programmes.
“We cannot allow those responsible for the alleged killing of Thangkhiew to go scot-free,” he said.
Echoing similar views, Hynniewtrep National Youth Front president Sadon K. Blah said the state government could have submitted its report within 48 hours to the Centre according to Article 311 of the Constitution of India to take action against any IAS or IPS officers.
“But the government prefers not to initiate any action against the top police officers in question even after a month after the former HNLC leader’s killing.
This is a clear indication that the government is trying to protect these officers, including the DGP,” Blah said.
Stating that the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh initiated action against 17 IAS and IPS officers, he asked why the NPP-led MDA government cannot follow suit.
Pointing out if the police can arrest those involved in the Khliehriat and Laitumkhrah market IED blasts, Blah sought to know why Thangkhiew had to be killed if there was proof of his involvement in those blasts.
He recalled the killing of Fullmoon Dhar in an alleged fake counter in 2009 apparently to stop him from exposing many politicians involved in illegal activities.
Blah said Thangkhiew had come overground with the objective of bringing the HNLC to the peace table.
“But the police do not want a peace dialogue with the HNLC. They want to prove their efficiency before the Centre in handling militancy by killing innocent people,” Blah said.
FKJGP general secretary, Dundee C. Khongsit said the main reason for demanding the suspension of the top police officers is to pave the way for the free, fair and impartial probe into Thangkhiew’s death.
“But the MDA government refuses to listen to the demand of the people. It will be solely responsible for any deterioration in law-and-order in the coming days,” he said.
Khongsit said action against the people responsible for the killing of Thangkhiew would ensure the police do not indulge in similar ‘crimes’.
KSU’s Mawlai Circle president, Rapbor Nongrum said Thangkhiew’s killing could fan militancy instead of helping wipe it out in the state. He asked why Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, who was responsible for Thangkhiew’s surrender, maintained silence after his killing.
“We had expected the Deputy CM to speak out,” he said.
A member of the Ka Sur Ki Nong Mawlai, Donbok Mukhim wondered the state government intended to pursue peace with the HNLC.
“It is really sad that the government is ready to have peace talks with the militant groups from Garo Hills like the ANVC-B and even unknown banned outfit LAEF. But they are declining the offer of the HNLC. Why is the government applying different yardsticks for outfits from different regions?” he asked.
The Mawlai units of KSU, FKJGP and HNYF are leading Ka Sur Ki Nong Mawlai and would be meeting soon for their future course of action.