FROM OUR STAFF CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, July 13: Deborah Ch Marak, a senior cabinet minister of the Mukul Sangma cabinet has conceded that the law and order situation in Garo Hills has turned from bad to worse. The Minister, known for recent outright face-off with the Chief Minister told The Sentinel on Monday that the State government needs to think of a collective new approach to check the situation in Garo Hills from aggravating.
“The present system of tackling militancy has failed in every front and it is time for us to change our approach in dealing with them (militants)”, stated Deborah Marak in a passive mode, even as she said that the road to dialogue with the militants as a way to bail out the five Garo Hills district from the ongoing turbulence.
The Union Home Ministry has already directed the state government to turn down any peace overtures by armed groups until they surrender. Deborah Marak, however, said, “I agree with the directives but can we go on with our approach without understanding the actual cause”.
Adding that she was born in Garo Hills, live in Garo Hills and belong to Garo Hills and knows the ground realities that drove the younger lots to militancy, she said that the elected legislators of the five Garo Hills districts have not made any bid to realize their duties and to persuade the militant groups.
Asked on why she is not stepping in as a senior elected representative from Garo Hills, Marak said, “I have not been authorized to do so but if my extra efforts are solicited, it should be in league with the church elders, senior citizens and the members of the civil society.”
Expressing hope that once the proscribed GNLA is brought into the negotiating table the other splinter groups will fall in line, she reiterated that the situation in the five districts of Garo Hills is horrendous.