Meghalaya CM expresses concern over activities of new militant outfits

     Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Sunday unfurled the national flag at the Polo Grounds amidst tight security and said that though the State is peaceful there is a need to keep constant vigil. During his Independence Day speech, the Chief Minister expressed concern over the activities of new militant outfits and also those outfits from Assam. "While Meghalaya is peaceful in general, there is a need for constant vigil and the government will take all steps to ensure peace and stability," said Sangma after unfurling the tricolor at the Polo Grounds amidst tight security. "Recent developments and attempts to form new militant groups in the Garo hills and the activities of Assam-based militant groups along the inter-state border areas are a cause of concern," Sangma said. Sangma in his speech claimed that improved relations between India and Bangladesh have had a dampening impact on the morale of unlawful and terrorist groups like HNLC and Liberation Achik Elite Force. "It is necessary to strengthen and modernise the police force to take care of all eventualities. The recruitment of personnel for the 6th Meghalaya Police Battalion will start within a few weeks," he said. The 36-hour shutdown called by a proscribed outfit affected general life in four Khasi-Jaintia districts of the State on the Independence Day here today. Security had been tightened amidst reports that a group of militants belonging to the banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), which has called for the shutdown, armed with AK56 rifles and grenades had entered the state from Bangladesh to strike in the capital town. Police said the militants were around the city and security has been tightened to prevent them from carrying out any subversive activities. A manhunt was on in the suspected areas where the militants might be hiding, the police said.

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