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Shanmuganathan asks outfits to abjure path of violence

Guv delivers lively maiden speech in Assembly

SHILLONG: Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmuganathan gave life to his maiden address with sound modulation on the first day of the Budget session of the Assembly on Friday narrating the programmes and policies of the State Government as he asserted that for lasting peace various groups should abjure the path of violence and come to the negotiating table.
The Governor, however, did not specify the groups which are hostile to the state government.
The Governor, with his sound modulation, made attractive to the listeners in the Assembly, a speech which did not have much substance.
The Governor said, “Peace and tranquility are pre-requisites for development of the state. My Government has adopted a comprehensive strategy to address the root causes of militancy and insurgent activities so as to achieve lasting peace for the growth and prosperity of the State. Despite certain concerns and challenges, the overall internal security and law and order situation in the state has been firmly dealt with by the State security agencies with the support of the Government of India.”
The Governor said that festivals and national days in the State were observed in an atmosphere of gaiety and amity and commended the people of the State for defying the bandh calls by militant outfits which revealed their commitment to the values of peace and harmony.
He observed that peace settlements have been reached with groups who have entered into dialogue process and steps are being taken in right earnest for their rehabilitation.
In this connection, he added, “The Government reiterates its commitment to initiate negotiations with groups which are inclined towards peace dialogue, provided they abjure the path of violence and unlawful activities.”
However, he maintained that the Government is equally firm in its resolve to tackle anti-national elements and their activities with full might of the State and that the Government will continue to invest appropriately in the upgradation of security infrastructure and to this end a new battalion of specially trained and equipped commando force has been raised and is presently undergoing training.
He said, “The intensive and sustained counter insurgency operations carried out by the security forces against the insurgent outfits have been effective and are yielding positive results.”
The Governor in his address saluted the men in uniform who made the supreme sacrifice in the call of duty and to the civilians who fell victim to the violence unleashed by the militants and other anti national elements and stated that while eight security personnel sacrificed their lives and 16 were injured, 21 civilians lost their lives in the violence perpetuated by the insurgent groups while 30 civilians were injured.
According to him, the Government is committed to ensure a harmonious and secure environment for the people of the State by providing effective support to the State Police through augmentation of manpower and technological up-gradation.
He added, “The Safe and Secure City Project currently being implemented in Shillong and Tura has brought in the required deterrence leading to improvement in the security scenario in the project areas.  The project will be expanded to cover the remaining district headquarters and some important highways in the State.”
According to the Governor, the situation on the inter-state border has remained  by and large peaceful.
He said, “A Joint Committee with representatives from all the political dialogues has been constituted to carry forward the dialogue with their counterparts in Assam, in order to build up a political consensus on the matter at both ends.”

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