Shillong, Sep 21 (UNI) Union Minister of State for Home V Radhika Selvi today expressed concern over the prevailing law and order situation in Meghalaya, especially in the militancy-affected areas of Garo Hills.
Ms Selvi's visit to the state assumed significance in view of the Congress-led government's preparation for the Assembly election early next year.
Soon after her arrival in the state, the Union Minister met state Governor Banwari Lal Joshi at Raj Bhawan and discussed the overall law and order situation in the state.
The Union Minister also held several rounds of closed door meeting with Additional Chief Secretary W M S Pariat, Home Commissioner R V Suchiang and senior state police officials.
During the meeting, Ms Selvi directed the law-enforcing agencies to take urgent steps to improve the law and order situation, sources said.
The state Home Department briefed the Minister on the prevailing law and order situation in the state with special reference to Garo Hills, wherein the militants were hand in gloves with the anti-national elements with active support of the banned United Liberation Front of Asom and National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) ultras.
When contacted and asked about the agenda and the ''worsening'' law and order situation in the state and the Minister's subsequent direction to the Home department, Commissioner and Secretary, Home, R V Suchiang declined to confirm it.
The Garo Hills area in Meghalaya is being used as a corridor to sneak into Bangladesh by the North East-based militants groups, including the NSCN(IM), the banned ULFA and NDFB of Assam.
Apart from the strong presence of the North-East militants in Garo Hills, there were at least four militant groups active in Garo Hills. Besides the outlawed A'chik National Volunteers' Council, which had already entered into ceasefire with the government, there were other small militant outfits - Liberation of Achik Elite Force (LAEF), Achik National Liberation Front Army (ANLFA), United Achik National Front (UANF), which were active in Garo Hills.
Ms Selvi would also call on Chief Minister D D Lapang tonight and discuss with him the prevailing law and order situation in the state.