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UDP demands probe into nexus

- Mukul, ANVC-B deny allegations by political parties

Shillong, Jan. 28: The United Democratic Party (UDP) today expressed concern over the presence of around 25 militant groups in the Garo hills region while reiterating its demand for an impartial probe into the alleged politico-militant nexus in Meghalaya.

UDP legislator Jemino Mawthoh, citing from information passed on to him from senior police officials, said the Garo hills, which is plagued with militancy, is home to 25 militant outfits.

“The situation in the Garo hills is grim with a spurt in militant activities,” Mawthoh told reporters.

However, police sources said the number is not as high as quoted by the political party.

“What we know is that there are less than 10 militant groups operating in the Garo hills,” the source said.

Mawthoh, along with leaders of the Northeast Regional Parties Front (NERPF), met President Pranab Mukherjee, Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, BJP president Rajnath Singh and BJP vice-president (in-charge of Northeast) S.S. Ahluwalia to apprise them of the alleged nexus between chief minister Mukul Sangma and the ANVC (B).

ANVC (B) political secretary Ajaju Marak alleged that Sangma had a nexus with the outfit, especially with the group’s chairman Rimpu Marak.

“The Union home minister expressed serious concern over the situation, especially when Meghalaya had once been a peaceful state,” Mawthoh said.

However, there was no specific response from Shinde on the party’s demand for an independent probe either by the CBI or by the NIA on the alleged politico-militant nexus.

While reiterating its demand for an impartial probe into the alleged nexus, the UDP demanded Sangma’s resignation and the dismissal of his government so that the investigation could be initiated “to know what is actually true”.

“We will stick to our stand, and will continue to pressure the Union home ministry to investigate the nexus,” Mawthoh said.

Stating that all is not well in Meghalaya today, the UDP legislator alleged, “The autocratic rule of one man (Mukul Sangma) has made the situation like this.”

Sangma and the ANVC (B) have denied the allegations made by Ajaju Marak.