SHILLONG, May 4 – Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said government cannot treat the militants with kid gloves saying militancy has been converted into a “lucrative” venture.
“Can we make militancy a lucrative venture by engaging in dialogue and negotiations every time a new group mushrooms,” Sangma asked after releasing his Government’s performance report card during the past two years titled “Promises Kept,” at the Yojana Bhavan here yesterday.
He said that the issue of militancy has been plaguing the State’s development for several decades now and the matter has worsened with the mushrooming of splinter groups.
Sangma said that some “smart people” were advising such groups and it is time to bust the dual identities of such people. “It has become necessary to find out if these groups are being used by some smart people and advising them to hinder development of the State,” Sangma asserted.
Sangma’s reference is to the troubled Garo Hills situation where the Garo National Liberation Army is running amok and has disrupted public order. The State Government has been forced to put bounty on the heads of the terrorists.
Moreover, the law and order situation has further worsened there after the Achik National Volunteer Council split, with one group under a ceasefire agreement with the Government while another taking to the jungles.
“Once one outfit is neutralised another surfaces, this has been the trend for the past many years in the State. Can we continue to engage in talks and dialogues every time a new group surfaces,” he asked.
Sangma invoking God, said that “it’s ironical that despite being a Christian majority State, there is no fear of God,” which forms one of the tenets of the religion.
He further rued that it was “distressing” that people are not coming forward to help the Government by sharing information about the militants.