SHILLONG, Oct 30: The procedure followed by the state government should not, in turn, facilitate the mushrooming of militant organizations in Meghalaya, as stated by the Opposition Congress.
The state government when they have adopted a strategy to facilitate this homecoming or returning to the national mainstream let them do it properly to ensure peace is restored in a sustainable manner as we do not want to see the repeat of the past,” leader of opposition and former Chief Minister, Dr. Mukul Sangma said here in this regard on Tuesday.
He also reminded how the hurried signing of the 2004 ceasefire signed between the Government of India, state government and the ANVC led to the mushrooming of various militant outfits.
“The expectation that peace to prevail eluded and there was again emergence of various militant outfits including the dreaded GNLA because in the first instance it (ceasefire) was not done properly,” he said.
Referring to the recent coming over-ground of the HNLC general secretary Cheristerfield Thangkhiew, Dr. Sangma said that there is complete lack of clarity on the stand of the present state government.
“The chief minister himself admitted that he is yet to be briefed. That means that there is a complete disconnect between the CM and the members of his cabinet who facilitated the surrender (of Thangkhiew) if we look at it from outside,” he said.
“When a member of a banned outfit is saying he is retiring and he comes without a weapon so where is the weapon and what is the way of surrendering and whether the government has given a direction that these are the parameters,” he said while adding, “There is the Standard Operative Procedure (SOP), if they have not changed the SOP it remains as governance is a continuous process. That is why we are saying who is authorizing who because the system is that the political department which is actually held by the CM himself will have to ultimately take a call on how the way forward should be.”
Dr. Sangma further stated that the statement of the Chief Minister is also contradicting the statement of the government in the floor of the House. “This means they are not cautious in their approach and that also means they have not given proper due diligence on how to move forward,” he opined.
Stating that the opposition will always be there to ensure necessary support to the government of the day in restoring peace in the state, Dr. Sangma however said, “But it must be done properly and with complete transparency otherwise our experience of the past is that there would be a tendency for people to take advantage of members belonging to any militant outfits to misuse which is often referred to the politico-criminal nexus. We want to ensure that does not happen in the state and if it does then we all know what will be the future of the state.”
Dr. Sangma said that the lack of clarity on the stand of the state government only means that they are not following the procedure which is incorrect in the eyes of the law.
Also pointing out that there is no clarity whether they want to give amnesty to such militants who have come over-ground, he said, “Congress was consistent in its stand and we say follow it and you will prevail. We have maintained that cases in respect of heinous crimes shall not be withdrawn and when they surrender they should be honest in declaring and surrendering of all their arms.”