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Garo Hills situation disturbing, says Centre

Posted on Aug 14 2014 | IANS

Shillong, Aug 13 : The central government Wednesday warned Meghalaya over the deteriorating law and order situation in the state's Garo Hills region where militants are on a kidnapping and killing spree.

"We are aware of what is happening over there in Garo Hills. It is apparent that the state government has failed to tackle the rising crimes in Garo Hills. The state (government) needs to have a complete view on how to restore normalcy and must act immediately ," Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju told IANS.

"The internal security reports from Garo Hills are very disturbing to us despite we have sanctioned central forces as requested by them (state government). Militant activities are on the rise... coupled with poor maintenance of law and order," he said.

Four people, including a nine-year-old boy, have been abducted from different places in Garo Hills over the last one week.

A petrol pump worker hailing from Bihar was shot dead Tuesday on the outskirts of Tura, the district headquarters of West Garo Hills.

"The current situation in Garo Hills is definitely not good. We need to have a complete view of the situation, The centre is disturbed and what is happening in Garo Hills is not good for us," Rijiju said.

Garo Hills, comprising five districts in western Meghalaya, has nine militant outfits operating there.

Explaining the tense situation in Garo Hills, school teacher Joseph Marak said: "Come to Tura and witness the total anarchy and chaos. Banks and petrol pumps are closed everywhere. People are rushing to shops to purchase edible items."

"I may have a car and plenty of money in the bank, but what do you do when banks and petrol pumps are closed?" he said.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has admitted that the law and order situation in Garo Hills has worsened.

"The law and order situation in Garo Hills is a matter of grave concern for us. The government has taken all steps to neutralise the anti-social element activities," he said.

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