By Our Reporter, Shillong News | Shillong, March 12, 2018:
What could be termed as a end of an era for the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), eight remaining cadres of the proscribed militant outfit officially surrendered before Home Minister James K Sangma with arms and ammunition in Shillong on Monday.
Welcoming the eight cadres, Home Minister James K Sangma said that the surrendering of this eight cadres of the GNLA will start a new chapter of peace and prosperity in Meghalaya.
James Sangma said this while addressing the gathering after the formally surrendering of the eight GNLA cadres at the police headquarter here today.
While recalling that in 2004, a triparite was signed between the Central Government, Meghalaya Government and ANVC, he said that peace ensured for some years in Garo Hills region. Sangma said that militancy in Garo Hills was spearheaded by the GNLA in 2009 as well as the mushrooming of the number of groups such as ASAK, AMEF, LAEF, UALA, UANF, UGSF among others.
Stating that Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma has already appealed to various militant organisations to shun violence and come to the main stream, he said that the Government wants to make it very clear that there will be no negotiations with any organisation which indulges in violence and criminal activities.
The Home Minister lauded the people of the State for their resistance against militancy adding that the people in Garo Hills came out against militancy in various rallies and peace initiatives which were undertaken.
“The church leaders and NGOs also played an important role in this whole exercise. All these efforts were supported by various Government departments especially Home (Police) department,” said the Home Minister.
Meanwhile, Sangma also said that the fight against militancy has been a long one adding that both parts of the State, the Eastern and Western Range have suffered from militancy.
Stating that the Government will try its best to improve the functioning of the police department, Sangma said that the Government will concentrate in improving the overall facets of policing in the State like fighting general crime especially crime against women, children and human trafficking.
“We will also try to strengthen the police further in forensic science and other moders equipment,” Sangma said adding that the Government is committed that the State should become militancy and crime free.