Business community victim of ‘Goonda tax’: Bernard

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Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, May 06: Condemning the attack on GLR Pharmaceuticals by a group of NGOs in Tura, former chairman of surrendered militant outfit ANVC-B, Bernard N Marak on Sunday said that the end of militancy has only paved way for the local goons to rise in Garo Hills.
Stating that he left the path of violence and chose to live a normal life and took over GLR Pharmaceuticals to run a peaceful business in Tura, Marak said, “Tura looks like a peaceful town but end of militancy only paved way to the local goons to rise. People of Tura, especially the business community are victims of a “Goonda tax” menace. Gundagiri is on a rise and I personally feel this should end here.”

Alleging that  on 1st May at around 1 pm NGOs (GSU, ADE, FKJGP, AYWO and some students from Tura Government College and NEHU) attacked and ransacked his  firm, assaulted his partner in broad day light, took away the hard disk of his computer and few lakh rupees, Marak said, “This is the real picture of Tura, lawless and Gundagiri.  Assaulting a helpless non – Garo businessman does not help a Garo society and Garos don’t approve violence.”
“There should not be another attack or assault or daylight robbery in Tura. I have left a life of violence and chose to live a normal life but NGOs hitting a weak in front of me actually distorts the “Peace pact,” said Bernard adding, “NGOs have no right to take law in their hands. Nor do they have right to assault, rob or vandalise any business establishment”.
On the prevailing lawlessness and increasing attacks on businessman Marak alleged that because of the “Goonda Tax” which is being collected by these goons, the rates of vegetables, fruits, eggs, dry fish et al has shot up than its actual cost as shops have to pay their haftas every month.
“Gundagiri must stop in Tura and time has come to put an end to it. I’m determined to make Tura a peaceful town,” Marak added.



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