SHILLONG, Jan 22 � Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma today appealed to the people of the State to defy the general strike called by militants on Republic Day and come out of their homes in large numbers for the celebrations.
�We have been appealing to the people to come out. People have to come out from their homes with enthusiasm and demonstrate love for the country and celebrate the Republic Day in a befitting manner,� Sangma said.
The appeal is to people residing in Khasi-Jaintia Hills as the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) has been routinely boycotting the National Day celebrations for years.
Six militant groups � Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) of Meghalaya, United Liberation Front of Asom-(Independent) and National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit faction), Kamatapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) operating in Assam and North Bengal and six militant outfits in Manipur under the banner of Coordination Committee (CorCom) � have called a general strike from 1 am to 5 am on January 26.
However, in Garo Hills, where there are several militant groups, there has been no such boycott call for many years.
In fact, some of the militant groups of Garo Hills have joined the National Day celebrations as they say their fight is within the ambit of Indian Constitution and have therefore have no qualms in joining the celebrations.
The Chief Minister further said the Government has made adequate security arrangements for the celebrations and there was no need to fear.
Special Operation Teams have been deployed in district headquarters, while check-points have been set up in various parts of the capital to intercept militants, police said.