No talks with GNLA: Chidambaram

Centre not to engage Army for counter-insurgency operations in Meghalaya

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: Taking a hardened stand against the activities of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), Union Home Minister P Chidambaram ruled out any talks with the terrorist outfit even as he reiterated the Central Government’s determination to root out insurgency from Garo Hills.

Chidambaram, who was on a one-day visit to Shillong on Sunday to review the law and order situation in the State, asserted that the Government would not engage itself in any talks with the GNLA until the outfit shunned the path of violence.

“GNLA has been declared a terrorist organisation. There won’t be any talks with them but they have to abjure violence and give up arms,” Chidambaram told reporters following the review meeting.

The Union Home Minister also stated that the Central Government was determined to combat the growing menace of insurgency in Garo Hills, but ruled out the involvement of the Army in counter-insurgency operations in the State, saying that the State and Central security forces were fully capable of combating the activities of the GNLA.

Chidambaram also issued a stern warning to all GNLA sympathizers to desist from extending support to a terrorist group, saying, “All those who knowingly or unknowingly help GNLA must take note of this. No one can provide either overt or covert support to GNLA or harbour GNLA cadre or member or help the outfit by providing fund or support in raising funds.”

Chidambaram also expressed satisfaction over the ongoing peace talks with the Achik National Volunteers Council (ANVC), another rebel outfit of the State, which is currently under a tripartite ceasefire agreement with the state and union governments.

“The Central Government is happy for the fact that they are presently in talk mode. As long as they remain in talk mode we will continue to hold talks with them, besides supporting the State Government in their peace endeavours,” the Union Minister stated.

The meeting, which lasted for almost an hour, was attended by Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma and State Government officials.