Govt mulls declaring GH as ‘disturbed area’

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma along with Deputy Chief Minister RC Laloo speaks to mediapersons in city on Thursday. (ST)

SHILLONG: The State government is contemplating to declare certain pockets in military-infested Garo Hills as ‘disturbed area’.

Indicating this here on Thursday, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said that the government would examine all aspects before taking the final call on the issue.

The Chief Minister, however, asserted that at the moment various militant groups were active in all the five districts of Garo Hills besides in certain pockets of West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills.

According to him, the top cadres of the various militant groups of Garo Hills were taking advantage of the difficult terrain and thick vegetation of East Garo Hills and South Garo Hills.

“Most of the top cadres are operating from these areas,” Sangma said.

Stating that militancy is a complex issue, Sangma observed that “the problem requires to be tackled jointly by all the Northeastern states in tandem with the Centre.

He said, “There is an urgent need for all of us to come together and address this issue in a much more comprehensive manner and give the kind of attention it deserves.”

Sangma pointed out some militant outfits namely NSCN, ULFA NDFB’s anti-talk faction were helping in the creation of new rebel groups and there were some training camps which were jointly run by ULFA and GNLA.

While referring to the issue of availability of sophisticated arms, the Chief Minister said that the same was coming from neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar and China. “Therefore, this issue should be collectively tackled by the various States with the help of Centre,” Chief Minister said.

Sangma will lead a delegation of ministers to Delhi in this connection shortly.