Meghalaya seeks redeployment of 6 companies of central forces

The Meghalaya government has sought redeployment of six companies of para-military forces that were moved out for election duties and extension of deployment of six other companies present in the state "to deal with the scourge of militancy".

"We have requested the MHA to deploy additional six companies of CRPF/BSF in our state," Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said in a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The demand was made following the MHA withdrawing six companies of BSF deployed for counter insurgency operations in the Garo Hills for election duty in Karnataka.

"The redeployment of six companies of BSF/CRPF at the earliest will go a long way in helping us to deal with the scourge of militancy in our state more effectively," the chief minister told PTI.

He said, the state government has also requested the extension of deployment of six companies of CRPF posted in the state beyond June 30.

Sangma said that militancy and armed gangs continued to pose a challenge to the police in the Garo Hills region due to inadequate availability of central forces.

Terming the abductions and extortions by militants and armed gangs in the Garo Hills as a matter of concern, Sangma said, the deployment of additional forces would prevent them from obtaining shelter and free movement.

Five Garo Hills district covering an area of 8,204 sq km has only 16 police stations.

In view of the inaccessibility and very poor connectivity in the region, the chief minister also submitted a comprehensive proposal to the MHA for upgrading and strengthening of the police establishment and infrastructure in the Garo Hills region.

He has also sought equipping them with appropriate weaponry, technology and other infrastructural facilities for dealing with insurgency and trans-border crimes.

Over 60 police personnel have died fighting militancy in the Garo Hills region.

During the last three years till April this year, 268 militants were arrested, 71 militants surrendered and 53 were neutralised.