Meghalaya CM seeks Centre’s support to end militancy

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Shillong, Dec 1: Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma Sunday appealed to the Centre to extend support for eradication of militant outfits in the state.

The request was made at the annual conference of the directors-general of police/inspectors-general of police in Guwahati,which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Militant outfits are posing challenges to internal security in certain pockets of the state. The security set-up in the state has achieved some success in controlling militant activities. To enable the state government to contain and eradicate this menace, we would also require the Centre’s support,” Sangma said.

He urged the Centre to provide early sanction to the proposals to upgrade police infrastructure in the state as well as infrastructure and technology on the Bangladesh border.

He also sought a one-time assistance for infrastructure, equipment and arms for the new unit of the commando force raised by the state.

Sangma also requested support for setting up of “home and hearth battalions” for assimilation of youth to augment national defence preparedness and for sanctioning eco-battalion of territorial army for ecological restoration of the Sohra plateau and the Garo hills region.

Sangma also said there was a growing “restlessness among the youth” of the Northeast because of lack of opportunities.

“We urge the Centre to work together with the state governments to launch special projects for the youth of this region, especially the educated unemployed. The Centre may also consider undertaking special recruitment drives for our youth in the army and central paramilitary forces,” he said.

The chief minister emphasised the need for a “joint effort” by all the northeastern states and the Centre to address internal security issues by tackling the root causes of the problems faced by the states in the context of their geo-political background.

 

“I request the Centre to pursue an active and aggressive approach towards addressing the complex geo-political issues of this region by improving economic ties with the neighbouring countries and by facilitating people-to-people contact in the region as a whole,” he said.

Sangma said, “We are at the cusp of significant shift from understanding the Northeast through the lens of internal security to its strategic geo-political location and the prospects it holds.”

“We in the Northeast have to be understood in the context of a larger South Asian and South-East Asian setting. The eight states of the region can translate your (Prime Minister Modi’s) vision for India through policy support and special investments for an environment in the region that is conducive to growth and prosperity,” he added.

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