SHILLONG: Meghalaya Home Minister James K Sangma has said the new dispensation is making concerted efforts to tackle militancy and crime.
"The government of Meghalaya is committed to its goal of ensuring that the state is free of militants and criminals," Sangma said after eight GNLA cadres surrendered before him at the police headquarters yesterday.
The surrender came just a few weeks after the killing of GNLA "commander-in-chief" Sohan D Shira on February 24.
This is the "beginning of the end of militancy" in Meghalaya, Sangma said, appealing to other militant organisations in the state to shun violence and return to the mainstream.
"The surrendered cadres will be receiving a rehabilitation package. They will be given much-needed guidance too," Sangma said.
The militants yesterday gave up two AK-56, Insas Rifle, 9mm pistol, Glock-19 with 7 rounds, SMG with 65 live round, 303 Rifle with 50 rounds, Air gun and .22 pistol.
Lauding the cadres, the minister said, "It takes great courage to surrender."
I congratulate them and their families, "I wish them success in their future endeavours."
The police department also felicitated church leaders Reverend ST Sangma and Rev KD Sangma for their role in convincing the cadres to lay down arms.
Stating that the state has long suffered due to militancy, the home minister said, "Let us all resolve to start a new chapter of peace and prosperity in the state.
He also stressed on the need to strengthen police force in Meghalaya to deal with crimes against women and children.
"The police will be provided with modern equipment to combat crime," he added.