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Mukul slams Centre for failing to understand ‘needs’ of NE states, shelving proposal for police stations along the inter-state borders

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Shillong, Nov 23: Opposition AITC leader and former chief minister Dr. Mukul Sangma on Wednesday slammed the Centre for failing to understand the needs of the North eastern states for maintaining peace and tranquility in the region.

Dr. Sangma told reporters that the proposals submitted by Meghalaya and other states from the North East to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in respect of establishing police stations along the inter-state borders have been “shelved”.

His statement came following the killing of six persons in the firing by Assam police at Mukroh village in West Jaintia Hills on Tuesday morning.

Stating that the internal security is crucial to ensure progress and prosperity of the region, Dr. Sangma said that this particular responsibility is vested upon the states but at the same time many of the states are also not in a position to fund the necessary initiatives which need to be put in place.

“So I was fortunate to have a positive response from the side of union government when Chidambaramji was the Minister of Home and we discussed about this overall responsibility of not just Meghalaya but other states and we submitted a proposal which was agreed to be funded by the MHA in respect of establishing police stations along the inter-state borders. We were happy. In fact, according to the letter, the sanction had already been issued in respect of Arunachal Pradesh and we were just supposed to receive a similar kind of letter accord sanctions for the proposal. Suddenly after the elections in 2014, the whole thing was shelved. That is why I have always said that the whole complexity associated with the matter of governance in respect to the different states of the North East, people in Delhi must have an in-depth understanding,” he said.

He added that the Arunachal government who received the accord of sanction got the letter but the fund never came as it was shelved. Similarly, Meghalaya also did not get the sanction anymore.

“I tried to prevail upon government of India, I wanted to again discuss with them that time Rajnath Singh was the Minister (of) Home, and he seemed to be responsive personally, but then Ministry of Finance is not willing to fund anymore,” Dr. Sangma said adding “When you don’t have people who can appreciate the different challenges that we are confronted by this is what happens.”

Further, the leader of opposition said that many other funding initiatives which were embarked upon by the government of India to support the NE states were all withdrawn. These include the special plan assistance to the North eastern state.

“There are reasons to therefore embarked upon that engagement with government of India, to draw their attention to understand various aspects of requirement of the states and this is not happening; it seems to have also fallen on deaf ears,” he said adding that is why the NE states are witnessing such situation like the Mukroh firing incident.

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