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‘ISI hand’ worries CM

- Mukul sees larger design in communal tension

Shillong, Aug. 1: Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma has reason to believe that there are certain forces, including Pakistan’s ISI, conspiring to create a law and order “situation” in the entire Northeast.

Sangma was reacting to queries on the involvement of the breakaway faction of the Achik National Volunteers Council (ANVC) in the alleged killing of two migrant labourers in West Garo hills recently.

“This particular act of ANVC (B) is also being investigated in view of the fact that we cannot rule out any larger conspiracy to create problems across the region, not only in Garo hills,” Sangma told reporters after a cabinet meeting today evening.

The West Garo Hills police arrested 24 ANVC (B) cadres on July 26 from the outfit’s supposed camp at Edenbari, about 7km from Tura, the district headquarters, in relation to the killing of two migrant labourers.

According to the police, interrogation of the arrested cadres, including senior ANVC (B) leader Salingbirth D. Sangma alias Solid, revealed that the plan of the outfit in killing innocent migrant workers was to foment communal tension on the inter-state border.

Sangma said that the “larger conspiracy” could not be ruled out as the ANVC (B) had indulged in selective murder of members belonging to one particular community, faith, and that too, from the neighbouring state.

He said an analysis of the overall plot and conspiracy gives the government reason to understand the magnitude of the entire conspiracy.

“It will have a serious law and order ramification and foment communal tension across the border between Meghalaya and Assam. The population of our Garo tribe is not only confined to Garo hills region or Meghalaya, but is spread across various parts of Assam, where they live with members of the minority community,” the chief minister said.

Stating that the bigger plot and conspiracy of ANVC (B) is being looked at, Sangma informed that the investigating agencies have been directed to find out who are the “smart minds” guiding the outfit’s members.

“We cannot rule out involvement with ISI and other anti-national elements. Therefore, this investigation will be given the kind of seriousness it deserves. I have reasons to believe that there are certain forces plotting this big conspiracy to create a law and order situation in the entire Northeast,” he asserted.

He maintained that the ANVC (B) was still engaging in various criminal activities, which was unexpected from an organisation, which is a signatory to the text settlement for peace.

Moreover, Sangma said the state home and political departments have been asked to communicate these concerns to the Union home ministry while he himself would flag the “big conspiracy” issue before the Prime Minister and the Union home minister.

The outfit’s political secretary Doang D. Shira denied that his cadres were involved in the killing of the two migrant labourers while the police maintained that concrete evidence was available.

“Everything is a big conspiracy to find fault and frustrate ANVC (B) cadres with the sole motive to stray us (sic) from the final settlement. Even earlier there were attempts to instigate our leaders to resort to violence so that the state government gets an opportunity to implicate us,” Shira said in a statement.

He also alleged that the state government never wanted the outfit to join the peace pact, and hence, there was no official conclusion of the Suspension of Operation despite the outfit making appeals, and state government receiving directives from the Centre.

“They did not even provide us a camp nor rehabilitated our cadres. So who is at fault? The state government is responsible for the present imbroglio as it is an outcome of their ill-intended policies,” Shira said.


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