SHILLONG, Nov 23 – With the Garo Hills situation fast deteriorating due to heightened militancy, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma yesterday said militancy is due to certain problems inherent to Meghalaya and there was no quick-fix solution” to it.
“Militancy is due to certain problems inherent to Meghalaya. We earlier had the Achik Liberation Matgrik Army, Achik National Volunteers Council and now the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA). There are also many mushrooming groups. There is no quick-fix solution to militancy,” Sangma said on the sidelines of a workshop.
On Monday, the BDO of Dadenggre, PK Boro was abducted from his office chamber by suspected GNLA militants. The militants then fired three rounds in the air to scare off onlookers. On the same day, two businessmen – Dulal Modak and Rokybul Haque – from Singimari town were also suspected of being kidnapped by the GNLA.
Asked about the State Government’s position on banning the GNLA, a visibly annoyed Chief Minister refused to comment on the issue.
The Central Government had earlier sought the State Government’s view whether the GNLA should be banned. The State Government has said it would take a decision on the issue soon.
Sangma said that the State Government was looking into a multi-faceted approach to root out militancy from the State. He attributed militancy due to youths being deprived of a decent livelihood and having a perception of lack of opportunities.
“Many in the State have this perception that there is lack of opportunities in the State,” he said. He said his government was identifying ways of addressing the issue of militancy by trying to create opportunities to the people in the State.