TURA, Jan 22: The recent comment by the Meghalaya CM, Dr Mukul Sangma welcoming all to come under one umbrella to bring peace and be a part of the settlement has come as a huge relief to the region. The region has already been strained under the ambit of the violence perpetrated by various militant organizations which has not only affected the peace, but also the development of the whole region. While the Government has put its first foot forward, it is now time for the militant outfits, especially the GNLA and UALA, to come forward and be a part of the mainstream.
Local NGOs, Church elders, senior citizens as well as the people of the region have begun to cry hoarse to end the incessant violence ever since the January 11 encounter which saw the killing of 4 ANVC(B) cadres. While there was a huge cry over the killings, the general feeling was that of “Enough is enough” and that the madness had to end.
An NGO member, who wanted to remain anonymous, said, “The original ANVC started the demand and the later groups just joined once they came overboard, but the violence remained since the settlement was not permanent till then. The Government has been taking its time to provide a permanent peace settle, which led to a lot of the members of the ANVC feeling shunted out. This time this should not be allowed to happen. What is the point of this peace settlement if another outfit comes out again asking for the same demands? We want a permanent solution, not a temporary one. The Government should work it out accordingly so that the people of the region are not used as bait once again”.
Meanwhile, sources have hinted that GNLA too wants to be a part of the settlement process. However, it is still unclear as to what terms they set about before they join the mainstream. The GNLA has been the main perpetrator of the violence within the region and without them being on the settlement process the region cannot maintain stability or even achieve peace.
Of course it is another matter if the war with them is won convincingly.
Sources said, “The police team can only contain them to an extent. If we kill three militants, another three will take their place and the fight continues. The action now has to be decisive and future options secured by improvement of infrastructure to fight militancy. If things go bad again, we will then have the opportunity to nip things in the bud”.