Skip to content Skip to navigation

Garo Hills horror

If Assam’s Bodoland is the most lawless region in the country today, according to former Meghalaya Governor, Ranjit Shekhar Mooshahary, then Meghalaya’s Garo Hills is no better either. The recent killing of a woman by the GNLA (Garo National Liberation Army) militants in Garo Hills region of Meghalaya for not giving into their lust has shocked the nation. That Uttar Pradesh will be repeated in Meghalaya in this horrific manner was inconceivable to many here because this incident is an irony to the liberation war that the GNLA is fighting for. Absolute lawlessness, as Meghalaya bleeds over the death of this woman that deserves bitterest condemnation as no words are enough to denounce such ghastly act on a defenceless lady. The GNLA’s Taliban type regime in Garo Hills is perhaps not seen anywhere else in the country today as the Congress led MUA – II government has been rightly grilled by the union government over this incident. The Meghalaya government has ruled out army operations in Garo Hills. What are they waiting for, perhaps, only heaven knows?

This has been the history of Congress governments be it in any states of the country, there has always been spurt in crimes under their regime. Crime and Congress is synonymous. The Garo Hills incident is extreme as it went live across the world through media and rightly so. Let the world and this country know the real identity of Meghalaya beyond its Cherrapunjee and Mawlynnong. The BBC has reported the heinous crime across Europe whereas national media houses like Times Now, CNN-IBN, Headlines Today and others have telecasted it across the country. Meghalaya has not received this much airtime for its tourist sites than what it got for this inhuman incidence. That the general belief of mainlanders about the northeastern region is a hub of militancy and terrorism has been proven true once again through these violent incidents. People say that Dr Mukul Sangma has failed miserably in protecting the lives of his citizens in the state. Absolute arrogance rules the roost in this government and so the militants have been able to extend their muscle to this extent. In fact this arrogance is a trait commonly seen among every tribesman in Meghalaya and this region at large. If crime is synonymous with Congress, so does arrogance with tribesmen. Today, there seems to be no different between the arrogance of former Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru and Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma. The former committed a historical blunder when his arrogance fuelled him to believe that the Chinese would not use its military in the 1962 Indo-China War. It earned him a severe humiliation which ultimately resulted in his downfall. As it is said, history repeats itself, and so it did hit another Congressman in Dr Sangma. The same arrogance can be seen in case of Dr Sangma and the lawlessness in Meghalaya is a result of this. Whether this is going to be his downfall as well, time will tell. The UN has denounced senseless statements like “boys will be boys” by Uttar Pradesh (UP) ministers and the UN Secretary General himself raised concern after the series of crimes reported against women from this Northern Indian state. But the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in UP is least bothered about these statements by the international community because their brazenness has reached to such level from where they can’t even recognize common decency and the general public. The question is will Meghalaya reach to that level?

The present incumbent home minister of Meghalaya would have come under the axe had she been the home minister of any other state. That a home minister whose tenure has only seen bloodshed and mayhem and yet is allowed to be in the cabinet is beyond imagination. Angry citizens of the state are of the opinion that this home minister should have been given mild departments like social welfare instead of bestowing upon her an important department like home given the lawlessness in the state and her miserable past track record. Let us be brutally honest here. Had this home minister been a Garo and the Garo Hills victim a Khasi then all knows what would have been the consequences. Large street protests would have engulfed Shillong by now demanding her immediate removal. But no, we cannot expect this here because the equation is favourable to the other side of the coin. The so called NGOs, who have been termed “villains” by a tribal professor from Meghalaya teaching in a university in the national capital, are not bothered about this. They are only bothered whenever a non-tribal is given an appointment in a college or in the state government whereas graver issues like their own tribesmen are raped and murdered by their own men is overlooked. Such is this patronage that even crimes are omitted if that has been committed by fellow tribesmen. As a former professor of the city has rightly forecasted that the issue of tribal and non-tribal will long cease to exist in future when the tribesmen will be after each other. And that is what is seen now. At least for their own sake the NGOs and right thinking citizens must come out in the open and condemn the brutal act for their own future. Instead of blaming the outsider for every issue, it is high time that they try and see the real side of the coin.

It seems quite unlikely that the present Meghalaya governor will initiate much action because he has to be loyal to the party which has elevated him to this position. The BJP government at the centre must replace the present governor, as is the norm in case of a regime change and has been seen in other states, so that spot information is fed to New Delhi about the ground situation here. The Meghalaya High Court should initiate suo moto cognizance to the lawlessness in Garo Hills and take to task the Meghalaya government for its lackadaisical attitude. The Supreme Court of India likewise, many opined, could have taken suo moto cognisance of the animalistic crimes taking place in UP. In the present circumstances, when the Congress led MUA-II government in Meghalaya and its counterpart, the SP government in UP cannot protect the lives of its citizens in their respective states, then it is high time that the judiciary extend its arm under constitutional authority and take to task these “armchair governments” from making a mockery of democratic government. Dr Sangma ruled out army operation in Garo Hills. But Meghalayans are asking is he confident enough that the state police force will be able to take on the GNLA militants? It looks utterly bleak. What it cannot do so long and now all of a sudden it will turn things around can only happen in Bollywood movies where a single hero takes on the entire world and wins. People are of the opinion that the state government is utilizing the police department as a tool as is the case in UP. But there are hopefuls who said that if given a freehand then it is not only Meghalaya Police but any police department for that fact have the ability to do the job on their own. The situation is grim and the mute silence of some of the Congress MLAs who won the last state assembly elections with the help of militant outfits has come to the fore. It is an open secret now. The politico-militant nexus has reached such a level that the lawlessness is an attribution of this patronage. “Political ambitions bigger than people” is the maxim in Meghalaya.

Complete disregard for the people of Garo Hills has been the bedrock of all governments in Meghalaya, so far. If in UP, women are raped by predatory males because there are no toilets in their villages then what good cab be seen in Meghalaya – where every development activities have been centred on Shillong and its suburbs. Is Meghalaya only about Shillong? It is an irony of its type that the people of Garo Hills vote their brethren as legislators – who in turn leave them at the hands of the militants and make their fortune in Shillong and elsewhere. Do we need such legislators at the first place who cannot even care for their own people? What will the people name this Congress minister who is brazenly exploring opportunities to make an entry into the union government? The ministers of Congress led MUA – II government in Meghalaya are seen more in New Delhi trying to grab the CM’s chair instead of where they should be rightly. This is live example of political opportunism as a particular minister led by his ‘numbers’ were camping in the national capital eyeing to grab the CM’s chair, the chief minister leaving his state behind was busy enticing the independent legislators to remain at the helm of affairs, innocents were tortured to death under custody in Garo Hills, Tura MP equally repeating the Congress dissident groups oiling formula at New Delhi to get a ministerial berth and what have you here. Well perhaps we can take solace from the fact that at least Nero was stationed at Rome when he was fiddling as that city burned. The BJP government has sent the right signal to the state government and ensured that it means business. Dr Sangma should also mean business when he said that the militants will be given “one time opportunity” for talks or “face the music” and this version should not get lost tomorrow like his ‘pristine’ promise that every district headquarters will have a Pine Mount School. Or else, the music might just start to flow in the opposite direction. 

Add new comment

Random Stories

One dies in road accident at Tezpur.

27 Jun 2007 - 12:44pm | editor
Tezpur : One person was killed on the spot when he met with an accident with a bus near Haleshwar Mandir, around 10 kilometers from Tezpur. The deceased has been identified as Tridip Hazarika and...

12 Black Widow cadres killed in joint offensive in NC hills

10 May 2008 - 8:53pm | editor
Altogether 12 Dima Halam Daogah(Jwel) cadres died and many others injured when an Army and police jointly launched a major offensive at a camp in Herelu in North Cachar Hills district along the Assam...

TET salary: leaves it on Centre

7 Jun 2015 - 4:42pm | AT News
A section of school teachers will not receive their salaries untill and unless the Centre releases the fund.Education minister Sarat Borkotoky told reporters in Guwahati on Sunday that these teachers...

AASAA condemns Bhutiachang killing

17 Jun 2016 - 9:48pm | Shajid Khan
"The killings of two tea labourers in Bhutiachang TE, Udalguri by miscreants on Wednesday night is a sheer act of disrupting peace in the region and anti-social elements are trying to gain mileage...

Other Contents by Author

I am tempted to write this piece after my neighbor, whose son, a local tribal from Meghalaya, studying in a private institution in Maharashtra had to deal with some uncomfortable questions, that may sound hilarious to many, following the demise of former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam here in Shillong on July 27, 2015. These inquiries, which for many northeasterners staying in mainland India is a common parlance, tends to push us into thinking sometimes “where are we”. For a majority in the country the northeastern (NE) region does not exist at all. They believe that Kalam died in a foreign land where he was invited to give a lecture, something that he has been consistently doing after...
He did not have money to continue his schooling. His well-off best friend went and told his father, who is a priest in a temple in the southernmost island of Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, to help his friend because he is extremely talented and that should not go waste. The priest realized his son’s urge and helped his friend. After completing his schooling he went to Madras (now Chennai) to pursue further studies. He worked as a vendor dropping newspapers in people’s doorsteps to support his livelihood. To save time he would roll the dailies like rockets and throw them into the balconies of high rise buildings. From this technique of perfectly targeting dailies into balconies he got the...
The Vyapam (Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal) or Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board scam in Madhya Pradesh (MP) is perhaps one of the most sinister scams in the history of the country, so far. With mysterious deaths being reported everyday prior to the taking over of the case by CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) to be monitored by Supreme Court of India; this has rattled the state BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) which has its ramifications felt on the central leadership of the saffron party. The yearlong taintless BJP is certainly hit with multiple injuries. The only respite perhaps is nothing concerns directly the union government as most are related to the BJP run state governments....
The recent Meghalaya High Court ban on coverage of calls for bandh, shutdown, hartal, road blockade and others issued by militant organizations, pressure groups and NGOs (Non-Governmental Organization) has put the fourth estate in a spot of botheration. The social media is aghast with the ban whereas the general public – who are the worst sufferers out of such shutdowns – hailed it. Interesting comments can be seen in the social media where there are opinions that people may be caught unaware about a proposed or effective bandh and rest of it, if that is not disseminated. Then there are also opinions about the judiciary infringing into the Free Press and exerting its authority on it. These...
Hinduism is not a religion whose motive is to increase its numbers. It is believed that conversion to Hinduism and vice versa is not a part of this religion. Therefore baptism, an integral part of other religions practiced in various names, forms their main facet because they believe that by birth they are not actually the inheritor of that religion in which they are born. Of late, after the conversion of 300 Muslims in Agra many a questions are raised. This is seen reverberating in the winter session of the parliament where the so called opposition tried to score few brownie points. But when the government countered that by saying “Let there be an anti-conversion law in the country” the...
The increasingly bigger role of the “Third Space” in every economic sphere will be richly explored in a 2-day conference titled “India’s North Eastern States and Eastern Neighbors:  Engaging for Connectivity Culture and Prosperity by an Intelligent Third Space” at Shillong starting this December 5. Divya Jeevan Foundation – Asian Confluence, which is a civil society institution at Shillong trying to contribute towards implementation of a forward looking Look East Policy which have aptly upgraded as Act East Policy in tune with the present NDA government vision of India’s emerging position in Asian and the World, in collaboration with Indian Council for World Affairs, a unit of Union...
Every time a northeasterner is at the receiving end in mainland India the entire focus shifts to protecting their rights, security and rest of it. Who are these northeasterners, after all? Are they some sort of an endangered species who needs protection as seen in Wildlife Acts, whereas mainlanders who encounter similar treatment in this region are ignored as if they are no human? After all those NGOs who raises their voice in this region whenever a northeasterner is targeted in mainland is woefully and tragically found mute when their own tribesmen is involved in similar inhuman acts against mainlanders. In such cases why these NGOs and unions do not condemn at the first instance? Does is...
The modern world despite all its technological innovations and inventions has not been successful in keeping human beings on earth together. We have the best gadgets, technologies and the rest of it but these have not been able to serve the purpose as the world is increasingly becoming a community centric place, each claiming their own place under the sun. Each nation is trying to assert their superiority and authority over others and the oddest side to this game is that these nations have communities inside them who too are seeking independence and sovereignty. The latest among them is United Kingdom (UK) where Scotland is going for a referendum this month to seek independence from the UK...
The modern world despite all its technological innovations and inventions has not been successful in keeping human beings on earth together. We have the best gadgets, technologies and the rest of it but these have not been able to serve the purpose as the world is increasingly becoming a community centric place, each claiming their own place under the sun. Each nation is trying to assert their superiority and authority over others and the oddest side to this game is that these nations have communities inside them who too are seeking independence and sovereignty. The latest among them is United Kingdom (UK) where Scotland is going for a referendum this month to seek independence from the UK...
In Meghalaya tribesmen torpor, hatred and jealousy takes backseat when it entails change of government. This is visible in tribal politicians from Meghalaya running to New Delhi innumerable times dying for an audience with Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi. Looking at their vigor and energy, it does seem for a moment that they are hard-working and prosperous tribal who are only concerned about their state. But then the reality is exactly the opposite. The dissident congressmen led by Dr DD Lapang and the cold warhorses are leaving no stones unturned to ensure a change in leadership in Meghalaya. One can just imagine what changes these leaders could have brought had they showed the same...