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Meghalaya turns crime hotspot

- Garo hills worst hit

Shillong, Dec. 27: The crime scene in Meghalaya during the current year has been abysmal with numerous cold-blooded murders, rapes and abduction increasing the crime graph, besides the crimes perpetrated by those who illegally wield the gun, especially in strife-torn Garo hills.

The scars of the gunning down of eight migrant labourers in a coal mine area in South Garo Hills in June, the dark memories of the gruesome killing of five police personnel by the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), also in South Garo Hills, and the terrifying lynching of three members of a family by a mob at Smit village in East Khasi Hills are some of those which one can instantly recall.

People in the western region have been proverbially living under the shadow of the gun with the proliferation of militant groups.

However, security forces have also been able to go after the militants, including arrest of cadres and recovery of arms and ammunition.

Recently, the state government had decided to form a special multi-task force, which was part of its resolution to re-strategise its fight against militancy.

The main functions of the force, which would be the size of a battalion, include strengthening of intelligence gathering and combating militant outfits.

According to Meghalaya police statistics, there were 2,341 cognisable crimes registered under the IPC from January till September this year. There were 2,761 cases last year. Besides, there were 132 cases of murder and a staggering 106 cases of abduction during this period.

Moreover, the statistics show that 468 thefts occurred while there were 128 cases of burglary, 57 cases of robbery and 54 cases of dacoity.

As for crime against women, 151 cases were registered under rape out of 250 cognisable cases of crime against the fairer sex. Among the rape cases, there was one custodial rape and four gang rapes. There were also 28 cases of abduction of women.