From our Staff Correspondent
SHILLONG, May 16: Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma made it clear that his government would not hold any dialogue with the proscribed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), a militant outfit that is alleged to have been holding the people to ransom.
His bold statement is illustrative of the psychological boost that emanated from the people’s resistance to the GNLA’s 300-hour bandh last week. The GNLA was forced to call off the 300- hour bandh after people came in hoards to protest against the long shutdown.
While taking cue from the people of Garo hills outright resistance, the Chief Minister said, “After the people’s defiance, the government’s decision not to succumb to their pressure tactics has become more pronounced.”
Speaking about the hardship encountered by the people of Garo Hills due to the 144-hour GNLA sponsored bandh in the first week of this month, Sangma stated, “Our government cannot turn a blind eye to the sufferings of the people created by such groups.”
The Chief Minister categorically stated, “The government will not go for any dialogue with the GNLA because we have seen militancy is more of an industry in the State.” He substantiated his points by illustrating the emergence of multiple militant outfits in Garo Hills after the suspension of the ceasefire between the government and the Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC).
Even as he spoke about the multi-pronged approach to bring about development and “to stop the youths from being lured by the fantasy of militancy”, he asserted that the fight against militancy will carry on through police operations and other developmental works.
It may be mentioned that the police and paramilitary forces have mounted their operations against the GNLA, a proscribed militant outfit that is fighting for a separate Garo land.