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Church decries militancy

Tura, May 17: Catholic Church leaders from across Garo hills met here today to strongly condemn militancy in the region.

All Catholic institutions in the Garo hills will remain closed on May 20 as a mark of protest.

On May 14, a militant group demanded Rs 5 lakh from the Catholic mission at Ampati, nearly 70km from here. The outfit has set a deadline of May 20 to pay the amount.

In a release issued here, the Catholic diocese of Tura said, “We strongly condemn the ongoing militancy and extortion by self-styled groups on individuals, families and institutions. This has led to utter lawlessness, sense of fear and insecurity, price rise, increase in poverty and poor quality of education.”

It also stated that no money or ransom would be paid to any such groups, irrespective of the consequences.

“The Church has always been at the service of the people and will continue to do so and its doors are open for constructive dialogue for the well-being of the people of Garo hills,” said the release.

The Catholic diocese has made an appeal to all the people to work towards peace and prosperity in Garo hills.