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Petition on Garo hills’ law and order

Shillong, April 29: The Unified Peace Movement for the Garo hills, a conglomerate of church leaders of various denominations and NGOs, today met governor K.K. Paul and submitted a petition regarding the deteriorating law and order situation in Garo hills.

The chairperson of the group, Miriam D. Shira, and its general secretary, Fr Januarius S. Sangma, led a delegation and met the governor at Raj Bhavan here.

“Together with your government, the church leaders of all denominations in Garo hills, civil society and all NGOs have taken a serious note of the steady deterioration of peace and normality in Garo hills in recent times,” the petition said.

The chairperson of the group said the fact that armed outfits are mushrooming is of great concern. “Law and order is fast slipping out of our hands and there seems to be a total breakdown of administration. There is a sense of fear and insecurity in the mind of the general public. Extortions, illegal collections, kidnappings and robbery seemed to be the order of the day.”

The petition said the organisation was formed by church leaders and various NGOs from Garo hills on January 25 this year. Their objective was to make a concerted effort to once again to usher in peace and normality in Garo hills.

The umbrella organisation, in its recent meeting, unanimously resolved to help facilitate youths who have joined militant outfits to return to the mainstream.

The A’chik National Volunteer Council (ANVC) had entered into peace talks with the government with an aim to bringing lasting peace to the Garo hills.

However, the mushrooming of militant groups in Garo hills is an unending story. The ANVC and the government are moving towards signing a final peace agreement.