Meghalaya takes precautionary steps after bomb threat

July 18th, 2011 - 6:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, July 18 (IANS) The government has taken all steps to prevent a terror attack and people should not panic, Meghalaya Home Minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh said Monday, a day after Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) rebels threatened bombings across the state.

“We have taken all precautionary steps to thwart any attempt by the rebels to carry out their attacks in the state and we appeal to the public not to panic,” said Lyngdoh, who reviewed the security situation in the state.

“Our men are on alert and everyone (in security forces) has been assigned with specific task to prevent these attacks,” Lyngdoh said.

GNLA military wing chief Sohan D. Shira Sunday threatened to bomb commercial places like Bara Bazaar, Police Bazaar, Tura Market and other places if the government does not withdraw central forces from the Garo Hills region and stop the ongoing combing operations.

The threat came after personnel of the Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) commandos and Border Security Force (BSF) were deployed in the Garo Hills region.

“Nothing doing to their demand (of withdrawing central forces). Instead, our combing operations have been further intensified in certain areas to flush them (rebels) out,” the home minister said.

The GNLA, one of the five Garo rebel groups, is fighting for a sovereign Garoland. It has forged an operational alliance with the United Liberation Front of Asom and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland.

More than 10 people, including security personnel, have been killed in the Garo Hills during the last one year by GNLA rebels.

The outfit, headed by police officer-turned-outlaw Champion R. Sangma, had earlier slapped extortion demands ranging from Rs.5 lakh to Rs.1 crore on government officials, ministers, legislators and businessmen.

The Garo Hills region is being used as a safe haven by various northeast-based militant groups.

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