Amid a boycott call by a rebel group in one part of the State and growing militant activities in another, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Monday asserted that insurgency, extortion and other anti-national activities would not be tolerated and dealt with a firm hand.
Unfurling the National Flag at Polo Grounds here, Mr. Sangma, however, contended that if “there are genuine grievances, they can always be raised, discussed and solution found through Constitutional means”.
As a bandh called by the banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) brought life to a standstill in the four Khasi-Jaintia districts, Mr. Sangma expressed the need to be more vigilant as there were “fissiparous tendencies raising their ugly heads”.
“Under no circumstance, their nefarious designs will be allowed to succeed,” Mr. Sangma said, at the central Independence Day function here.
“The militant groups should see the writing on the wall. There is no room for violent movement in a democracy. While there is tremendous scope for resolving all issues through Constitutional means, I would urge them to consider their prospect, ponder over the future of the youths who have joined the organization under misconceived notion, think about the inconvenience their activities are causing to the community they are professing to serve and the setback it is causing to the process of development,” the Chief Minister said.
Mr. Sangma said if the groups care for the interest of the community, they should “surrender and join us in finding solutions to the problems and difficulties of the society.”
The Chief Minister maintained that development was the solution to all socio-economic challenges.
Stating that the police force in the state was being strengthened and modernized, the Chief Minister lauded the successful operations of the specially trained combat units like SWAT in the State.
Assuring that a number of initiatives were being taken to address the issues of influx, inter-State boundary disputes and international border problems, the Chief Minister informed that a task force headed by him has been formed to ensure that these initiatives are taken to their logical conclusion.
Citing the opening of the border haat at Kalaichar recently, Mr. Sangma said significant headway has been made in improving bilateral trade relations with Bangladesh.
Independence Day was also celebrated in the three districts of Garo hills despite a threat by the Garo National Liberation Army.
Though the outfit has not called a bandh, the activities of the GNLA has been keeping the security forces on their toes in the run-up the I-Day.
Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh hoisted the Tricolour in Tura, the district headquarter town of West Garo Hills. Braving heavy rainfall, over 5,000 people witnessed the function there.