Shillong: Meghalaya Governor Dr KK Paul Friday expressed concern at the increased activities of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) militants and its growing influence in the Garo Hills region and parts of West Khasi Hills.
"The increased activities of GNLA and its growing influence in Garo Hills and parts of West Khasi Hills is a matter of serious concern," Dr Paul said while addressing the first day of the Assembly`s Budget Session here.
He said during 2013, 108 militants were arrested and 19 militants had surrendered and large quantities of arms and ammunition were seized from their possession in the past one year.
He however, said that the activities of the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), another militant outfit active in the KhasiHills region of the state, have seen a decline during the past one year lauding the state police for confining their (militants) movement and activities to certain areas along the Indo-Bangla Border only.
Meghalaya, whose border with Bangladesh is almost half of its total border (443 km with Bangladesh as compared to the rest 884 km with Assam), faces serious problems of influx of Bangladeshi nationals and existence of bases of some of the militant organisations of North East, in Bangladesh, the Governor said.
Stating that 4137 illegal migrants were detected in 2013 alone in Meghalaya, 169 were prosecuted and 3968 were sent back directly (to the place they came from), Dr Paul said adding that the newly created Directorate of Anti Infiltration is now functioning with an appointed director.
The Governor also expressed regret over the rising crimes against women and children in the state which is contrary to its matrilineal system.
"It has been noted that such crimes have registered an increase by 23.14 p.C. In 2013 as compared to 2012," he said, adding that the government is considering entrusting a city-based central university (the North Eastern Hill University) to conduct a detailed study on the matter.
He also said that a number of measures have been taken to prevent, detect and investigate crimes against women and children and informed that anti-human trafficking units have been set up at Shillong and Tura.
While situation at the borders has largely remained peaceful due to improved relations with neighbouring Assam state and Bangladesh, the Governor said his government is committed to completing the border fencing on the international border at a fast pace and said a status quo should be maintained along the inter-state border with Assam.
On corruption, the Governor highlighted that eradication of corruption at all levels was the prime object of his government.
"A new Lokayukta Bill, in conformity with the model Bill recommended by the Select Committee of the Parliament and based on extensive consultations held with various stakeholders is being brought to the Assembly, during the current session," he said.
He also said that another legislation was under preparation which will seek to lay down benchmarks and timelines for more efficient delivery of services by the Government departments to the public.
On the economic growth of the state, the Governor said it achieved a growth rate of 8.1p.C. During the 11th Plan period and this growth has sustained in the first year of the 12th Plan.
The State Government has stepped up implementation of the Integrated Basin Development & Livelihood Promotion Programme (IBDLPP) besides, up-scaling the investment in the social sectors and infrastructure development, he said.
The Government has taken up several new innovative projects in 2013-14 which include the State Rural Infrastructure Development Initiative, the State Urban Infrastructure Initiative, lay-by markets, Integrated Social Mobilization Centre and Hostels for working women.
The tentative plan outlay for 2014-15 has been fixed at Rs. 4545 crore.