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Govt to probe rebel link: CM

- No one above the law, says Mukul

Shillong, Nov. 26: Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma today refused to rule out the alleged nexus between politicians and militants in Meghalaya.

He also vowed to let the law take its own course if such a nexus was established beyond doubt.

“I think I have made the position of the government very clear in the preceding years. Even last year, I had made it abundantly clear that we cannot rule out the links of any politician with militant organisations,” Sangma said while interacting with reporters here today.

The statement comes a day after Opposition legislators, under the banner of the Meghalaya People’s Front (MPF), met governor Krishan Kant Paul to demand a probe into the alleged “unholy nexus” between members of the ruling group and insurgents.

While stating he would go into the points raised by the Opposition legislators before making any response, the chief minister said the security agencies are required to monitor and verify the alleged links between politicians and militant outfits.

“Whenever such information is brought to the government and can be substantiated with proper evidence, the law will take its own course. No politician will be insulated from the purview of the law. The law is for all and that stand has been made abundantly clear by the government,” Mukul said.

However, the chief minister said the nexus might not be confined only to one political party.

“This possibility cannot be ruled out. We have had certain inputs in the past, which gave enough reasons for the government to understand the need to verify and investigate. The security agencies are investigating those angles, and whenever they are substantiated by enough evidence, the law will be enforced accordingly,” he added.

Yesterday, while meeting Paul, the MPF legislators maintained that a meticulous inquiry was necessary into the alleged “unholy nexus” between members of the ruling group and insurgents.

“It is an admitted fact that the morale of the police force has been badly eroded by this nexus, making their task of policing a Herculean one,” the legislators had said.

In the recent past, Meghalaya, especially the Garo hills region, has been facing the brunt of militancy with armed groups indulging in extortion, abduction and killing civilians and security forces. The Garo hills situation had also captured the attention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde recently.

As far as the western region of the state is concerned, the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) has been identified as the most potent armed group with access to sophisticated weaponry.

The Centre has even declared the outfit, which claims to be fighting for a separate state for the Garo people, as a “terrorist organisation”.

Apart from the GNLA, the region is also home to the United A’chik Liberation Army, a splinter group of the breakaway faction of the A’chik National Volunteers’ Council (ANVC). The ANVC, though, is on a ceasefire agreement since July 2004.

In the Khasi-Jaintia hills, the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), which has been demanding a sovereign Khasi homeland, is currently facing a crunch with most of its cadres having come overground to surrender.


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