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Call to defy R-Day strike
- Mukul asks people to ignore militant diktat

Shillong, Jan. 22: Amid a call by militant outfits in the region to boycott the Republic Day celebrations, Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma today said people have always defied such diktats.

“We have been appealing to the people of the state to come out. As we have seen in the past, people have participated despite the boycott call. We have been able to show this to the world. People have come out with enthusiasm and demonstrated their love for the country and celebrated in a befitting manner,” Sangma told reporters after a cabinet meeting here.

At least 11 militant outfits have jointly called a boycott of Republic Day celebrations. They have also declared a general strike from 1am to 5pm on January 26 in the entire region.

The outfits include the Manipur-based groups like the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL), People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Prepak), People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak-Pro (Prepak-Pro), Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF) and United National Liberation Front (UNLF). These outfits operate under one umbrella known as the Coordination Committee (CorCom).

Apart from the above outfits, the other groups include the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) of Meghalaya, Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), operating in Assam and north Bengal, National Democratic Front of Boroland (Songbijit faction), Ulfa (Independent) of Assam and National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT).

On security arrangements to ensure an incident-free Republic Day, Sangma said it is the duty of the respective district administrations to make all the necessary arrangements.

Although the Garo Hills is plagued with militancy, it has been observed over the years that the outfits operating in the western part of Meghalaya have always refrained from calling strikes on Republic Day or Independence Day.

The Sangma cabinet also approved the names of VIPs who would be unfurling the Tricolour and take the salute on Sunday in various locations across the state.

In the state capital, Governor Krishan Kant Paul will be unfurling the flag and take the salute while PWD minister Sniawbhalang Dhar will do so in Tura, West Garo Hills.

In Nongstoin, under West Khasi Hills, urban affairs minister M. Ampareen Lyngdoh has been deputed while deputy chief ministers Rowell Lyngdoh and R.C. Laloo will be in Nongpoh (Ri Bhoi district) and Jowai (West Jaintia Hills district), respectively.

State transport minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh will do the honours in Williamnagar in East Garo Hills while social welfare minister Deborah C. Marak has been deputed to Resubelpara in North Garo Hills.

Home minister Roshan Warjri will grace Sohra civil sub-division in East Khasi Hills while former chief minister D.D. Lapang will unfurl the Tricolour at Mairang civil sub-division in West Khasi Hills.