Shillong: Meghalaya government on Wednesday appealed to citizens to defy the bandh called on Republic Day by separatist Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) even as strict instructions were issued to the administration to ensure that the celebration passed off peacefully.
"It is desired that everybody comes out and celebrate Republic Day in a befitting manner. We have been able to show to the world that despite bandh calls, people of Meghalaya have defied such calls," Chief Minister Mukul Sangma told reporters after a cabinet meeting in his residence.
"People have come out with their own enthusiasm and demonstrate their love for the country and celebrate despite such calls in the past," he said.
At least six militant groups in the northeast including the ULFA in Assam and HNLC in Meghalaya, have jointly issued a statement announcing boycott of Republic Day celebrations and a general strike on that day.
In view of the bandh call, the state police have been asked to keep extra vigil to thwart off any such attempts by the outfit.
"It is incumbent upon all district administration to ensure that the celebration is a peaceful and successful one," the Chief Minister said.
The Border Security Force (BSF) which is manning the Bangladesh border have also been asked to be extra alert and be in close coordination with the state police in view of the bandh.
Governor KK Paul will unfurl the tri-colour at the celebration at Polo grounds here while Home Minister Roshan Warjri will be the chief guest at the Sohra Civil Sub-Division.