'In this part of the country, AK-47s are available at Rs 2 lakh'
SHILLONG, March 11: Meghalaya Chief Minister, Mukul Sangma today said that ego should not come in the way for the militant outfits in the state to stop their anti-tiol activities.
According to Sangma, the state government time and again has been asking the outfits especially the GNLA and HNLC to shun the path of violence before holding peace talks.
Sangma was replying to the debate on the Governor’s address on Friday.
The Chief Minister said that the ban on the Khasi outfit-HNLC was extended because of its anti-tiol stand by calling frequent boycott calls during days of tiol importance.
Sangma also expressed concern over the easy access of insurgents groups in the northeast to sophisticated weapons. “If arms are not available how can these groups flourish? There are too many guns available at throwaway prices,” Sangma said.
“In this part of the country AK-47s are available at Rs 2 lakh,” Sangma said.
The Chief Minister called for coordited efforts from the governments in the region and the centre to guard the borders.
According to Sangma, the insurgent outfits in the northeast get new consignment of arms regularly and therefore sell away the old weapons at cheap rates.
The Chief Minister also said that the problem of insurgency in Garo Hills persists even today because of the delay in the peace talks with the ANVC.
“There were desertions (from ANVC) and some leaders floated the GNLA. Subsequently desertions went on and on and many splinter groups were formed,” Sangma said.
Sangma called upon the stakeholders including elected representatives to usher peace in Garo Hills.
Sangma also lamented at the stand of the centre when the state recently sought additiol central armed police forces. He said that the State government was asked to deposit in advance the amount required to be spent on maintaining the forces.
“What is this? Is it not the responsibility of the Centre as well?” he asked.
Sangma also informed that a consultative committee involving members from political parties from Meghalaya would be formed in order to have a dialogue with Assam to evolve consensus on the four decade long issue.
Sangma informed that the committee would engage with Assam. “The problem with Assam will always elude a solution unless there is political consensus on both sides. The stand of the Centre on the issue is that it should be resolved bilaterally,” Sangma said.