SHILLONG, April 1: People of Ampati in South West Garo Hills will have a brief reprieve from the ordeal created by the proscribed Garo tiol Liberation Army (GNLA) in the form of an indefinite bandh that commenced from March 8.
The GNLA has temporary suspended the bandh for five days in view of the upcoming Good Friday and Easter celebrations.
But for the ordiry residents of the district headquarters of South West Garo Hills district, their longing is for total freedom from all impositions that affect their daily life. It has been officially reported to the Shillong based State Secretariat that normal life of the people especially in the adjacent rural areas came to a near grinding halt due to GNLA bandh that aims at taking on the Chief Minister on his home turf (constituency).
“The total stoppage of the day to day routine stems from the fear of the GNLA,” stated an elder of the area on condition of anonymity during a telephonic conversation with The Sentinel, even as he informed that the life of the farming community, the daily wage earners and the students has turned miserable during the last 22 days of shut down.
“None of us dare to come out of our houses due to fear of the GNLA’s possible retaliation,” stated another senior citizen. He adding, “I am aware that the GNLA bandh will resume on Tuesday and I could see a catastrophe if this endless shut down goes on”.
Deputy Commissioner of South West Garo Hills Ram Singh conceded that the GNLA threat to prosecute the violators of the bandh has created a sense of insecurity. “We have made all attempts to instill confidence in the minds of the people. But the fear psychosis created by the banned armed outfit restrained them to come out even if they wished,” stated Ram Singh, while informing that during the bandh period the district administration reached out to the people with supply of rations.
Sources said that the Church services during the next four days will focus on the impact of violence on humanity. Garo Hills has bore the brunt of violence in the last four years.