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Assam Rifles Hq to stay in Shillong: Centre

SHILLONG: The Centre has ruled out the possibility of shifting Assam Rifles headquarter from Shillong to Manipur. Indicating this here on Monday, Satyendra Garg, joint secretary to Union Home Ministry, has asserted that Assam Rifles has the right to stay in Meghalaya capital. Garg’s assertion came days after several pressure groups here jointly demanded shifting of headquarters of Assam Rifles and Eastern Air Command from Meghalaya capital so that rightful owners get back the land occupied by these defence establishments. Garg said that the ministry till date has not received any such request from any quarter to shift Assam Rifles headquarter from Shillong. “Assam Rifles is there all over North East and Shillong being an important town, they have the right to be here,” he said. The statement assumes significance in view of the ongoing shifting of the ITBP headquarter from Shillong to Itanagar. He said that he had spoken to ITBP Inspector General and the shifting process was likely to be completed in 10 to 15 days. Earlier in the day, Garg held a meeting with Meghalaya Home Minister Roshan Warjri. Referring to militancy problem, he reiterated the Centre’s willingness to hold discussions with insurgent outfits of Meghalaya provided they abjure violence. He also said that Meghalaya Government was doing a good job as far as counter-insurgency operation is concerned. Referring to the law and order situation of the Northeastern region, he said the situation was under control. When asked about the arms and ammunition being smuggled to Northeastern militants., he said that arms in North East comes from outside the region even as he admitted that there were constrains in stopping the smuggling of arms due to unfenced border and minimal presence on border. “We tried to upgrade our security from time to time,” he said adding that present Government in Bangladesh was very cooperative. He also informed that as per report, ULFA leader Paresh Barua was not in Bangladesh.

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