SHILLONG, Jan 26 (IANS): Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad on Friday unfurled the Tricolour at the Republic Day function here and appealed to people of the state to hold steadfastly to the ideals of democracy.
"A resilient, hard working and peace loving population has always been the strength of great nations. People of our beautiful state have always abided by these values," he said in his first Republic Day address to the people of Meghalaya.
"Even during our movement for statehood, we always adopted peaceful and democratic means. It is well established that there is no issue that does not lend itself to solution through meaningful engagement and reconciliation," Prasad said recalling the statehood movement.
Praising the Meghalaya police and central forces for the improved security situation in the five districts of Garo Hills, the Governor said the internal security situation has also significantly improved in the state.
"The state police in collaboration with central forces have done a commendable job despite facing constraints of difficult terrain and poor communication infrastructure. This has led to a large number of arrests and surrender of militants and other criminal gangs as well as recovery of huge cache of arms and ammunition," Prasad said.
He said the government's recent approach to facilitate surrendered cadres of different militant organisations to take advantage of the government rehabilitation package and assimilate in the national mainstream by involving the Church and community leaders with the aid of the district administration and police have yielded positive results.
He said the situation on the India-Bangladesh border remained peaceful due to improved relations with the neighbouring country and added: "The State is committed to complete the remaining fencing on the international border at a fast pace to effectively contain influx of Bangladeshi nationals and trans-border movement and activities of militants and anti-social elements."
He said the state government is also in the process of creating facilitation centres at various entry and exit points on the interstate border with Assam to check the entry of illegal migrants and other suspicious persons into Meghalaya.
On the disputed Assam-Meghalaya border, Prasad said efforts are on to solve these disputes and effective mechanisms at the level of Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries of both the States have been created for securing a permanent solution to the issue.