FROM OUR STAFF CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, May 7: The same people who are fighting the militant groups are giving these element credibility in the me of having a need to entering into a ceasefire agreement, emphatically stated the former Meghalaya Minister of Home, Robert Garnett Lyngdoh on Wednesday.
Lyngdoh, known for his bold move, a step that is considered as a turning point in quelling the armed militant outfits in the early part of the last decade said, “Militancy is a social issue and it takes a different picture with political overtones.” “People who talked about their crimil activities are giving them the credibility,” stated Lyngdoh, besides questioning the authorities on the definition given to the credentials of militants groups that they aspire to broker a peace pact.
“Are they freedom fighters or crimils in the eyes of the law?” quipped Lyngdoh at the sidelines of a function held on Wednesday. “I don’t subscribe to the idea of militants surrendering as a group. Deal with the individuals and that will help in easing the pressure,” stated the former Home Minister of Meghalaya while citing at his successful mantra where individual members of the armed outfits as well as the family members were spoken and counselled to come over ground.
His work yielded results when successive groups of militants belonging to the HNLC surrendered before the government in 2003-2004, a period when he held the home portfolio.
The former Home Minister does not see any proposed ceasefire agreement with the militant groups as a solution to the problem. He observed that the ceasefire agreement is only a transition to rehabilitate the militants while the ordiry people in need of government schemes will continue to be deprived. “Look at the ceasefire agreements and the subsequent rehabilitation packages that has an impact on the ordiry man,” stated Lyngdoh, adding, “Do you want the deprived hardworking people to join the militant groups before being assured of their due government schemes and packages.”