SHILLONG, Apr 30: â€˜It is totally wrongâ€™, exhorted Leader of Opposition (LO), Conrad K Sangma who observed that simply having operations, challenging and placing bounty on militants head is notÂ a long term or even a short term solution to militancy in Meghalaya.
The LO on Monday expressed disappointment over the governmentâ€™s approach to the issue and said that simply operations against and challengingâ€™ the GNLA would not yield any far-reaching results.
Concerned over the 144 - hours bandh being imposed by Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) in the Garo Hills, which started Monday, Conrad said, â€œThe entire Garo Hills has come to a standstill and government employees are not in their officesâ€.
â€œThis shows the prevailing situation in the area and if this continues for five days the simple and poor people of the Garo hills will suffer who live their life on a day- to - day basis,â€ he added expressing despair over the law and order scenario in Garo Hills.
â€œI donâ€™t know how these people are going to survive. Itâ€™s a very sad and difficult situation,â€ the LO further commented.
Citing reports based on the recent 72 - hour bandh called by GNLA in the constituency of Chief Minister and constituency of the LO, Conrad said â€œSources have informed me that there was no movement; forget the public even dogs and birds are not seen.â€
According to the LO, this showed that GNLA has now taken full control over Garo hills.
Appealing to the government to take initiative in this line, he expressed his resentment saying â€œI have not seen any statement given by the state government saying that enough security will be provided to the public, Public are requested not to worry or panic.â€
Exasperated by the apparent â€˜silentâ€™ attitude of the government towards this burgeoning problem in Garo Hills, Conrad said â€œthere is no response from the government on this particular issue. There has not been any confidence given to the general publicâ€. And asked the Government not be just a silent spectator.
Going by the recent strategy of government and police department, wherein they have announced seven â€“ day ultimatum to the outfit which failed to yield any result followed by announcement of bounty for information on GNLA leaders which again seems to have been mocked by the outfit and criticized by general public, Conrad observed that the government is simply going on an ego clash with the outfit.
A surprised LO even asked â€œon what basis has government come up with this (announcing bounty for information on GNLA leaders)â€. He was of the opinion that if this was to instigate or bait people to help the police, then there are many other ways to do it, asserting â€œit is totally wrongâ€.Â
He, however, clarified that he is not against the counter insurgency operations, but only concerned about the fact that common people are suffering.
Admitting that there was no â€œstraight forward solutionâ€ to this problem (insurgency), he iterated the need to have a long â€“ term multi â€“ pronged strategy targeted at the socio â€“ economy of the people, creating job opportunities, and development of the region.