TURA, Nov 17 - A 9-member delegation from Garo Hills met the Union Minister of State (Home) Kiren Rijiju to discuss the issue of AFSPA as well as various other issues plaguing the region.
Rijiju assured the delegation that the Centre is not in favour of enforcing the Armed Force (Special Powers) Act in Garo Hills, rather the government would send more paramilitary forces to help the State police.
The delegation comprised youth activist Roger Benny A Sangma, Garo Hills State Movement Committee chairman Nikman Ch Marak, Garo Students’ Union activists Rupa Marak, Zikko Balgra Marak, Rockey Fieller Sangma, Delhi A’chik Youth Association president Nanang Ch Sangma, CNN IBN journalist Micheal Sangma, member of Alliance of Christian Churches Taison D Shira and activist Jaynie Sangma.
“The Centre is committed to ensuring peace and tranquility in the region. We urge the general public and the local people to cooperate with the government to restore peace and ensure development in the region,” the release quoted Rijiju as saying.
The delegation apprised Rijiju on the prevailing law-and-order situation in Garo Hills and the Meghalaya High Court’s directive to the Union government to enforce AFSPA in Garo Hills. The delegation also submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the same issues confronting the State.
“Our meeting with Rijiju was very positive and fruitful,” said Roger Benny over phone from New Delhi.
He also informed that the delegation spoke to the Union Minister about the socio-economic and unemployment problems of Garo Hills and requested him to recruit more unemployed youths in Central forces like CRPF and BSF.
“The Union Minister was very positive and has assured to do his level best to recruit more youths in Central forces from Meghalaya,” Roger added. The delegation also met Meghalaya Home Minister Roshan Warjri, who was in New Delhi yesterday to meet Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.