SHILLONG, June 12 � The Maoists operating in different parts of India are getting sophisticated arms and ammunition delivered from the North East, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said in the Assembly yesterday and added that a joint Centre-State approach is needed to stop this dangerous trend.
Replying to budget discussions, the Chief Minister said that the Maoists who were earlier operating with muzzle loading guns are now in possession of sophisticated weapons from Myanmar, Bangladesh and China.
He said some of the sophisticated weapons such as rocket and grenade launchers, latest AK-47s are all available in the North East, which are being delivered across India, including the Maoists.
Sangma said that he, like all other Chief Ministers of the North East, does not have the mandate to guard the borders or hold talks with the respective heads of countries. He, therefore, said that a robust Centre-State relationship is required to stop this dangerous trend of arms being slipped into the country.
He suggested that the Centre must take steps to seal the borders and also hold talks with the neighbouring countries such as Myanmar, Bangladesh and China so that arms smuggling could be stopped and thereby avoid wider security ramifications.
The Chief Minister further said that the problem of militancy and terrorism in Meghalaya cannot be stopped unless all the seven States of the region and the Centre join hands. He said that outfits like the ULFA and NDFB in Assam are �hand-holding� groups in Meghalaya for their own benefit.
Stating that the problem is complex and much of the cadres of the militant and terrorist groups of Meghalaya are from Assam and Bangladesh, he said, there is a sizeable population of Garos in these areas from where the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) and other groups draw recruits.
�I would head a delegate to New Delhi and meet the Central Ministers to apprise them of the situation. On the other hand I would also be writing to my counterparts of all seven States in the region on the issue,� Sangma informed the House.
Touching on the sensitive militancy and terrorism problem of the State, he said that outfits like the GNLA which have unleashed a senseless reign of killings in Garo Hills does not deserve any talks with the government.
Sangma said that these groups have been provided ample opportunity in the past to mend its ways by giving up violence and sit for talks. But now, the Government has no other option but to take a step back and review its earlier decision to invite these groups for talks.
�In spite of the government�s goodwill they (GNLA) have continued with violence. There is a need to review whether the GNLA deserves to be involved in talks,� Sangma asserted.