Security forces drop guns for brooms in Meghalaya

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SHILLONG, Jan 21 (UNI) Army, paramilitary forces and state police personnel today coordinated in a different operation and rid filth and dirt in the capital city here often likened to ''Scotland of the East'' for its natural beauty and cleanliness.

Officials from the Army, BSF, Assam Rifles and the state police dropped their guns and picked up brooms to clean one of the citys biggest markets at Iewduh and Motphran to create awareness on cleanliness on the occasion of the 36th Meghalaya Day celebrations.

Officials wearing Meghalaya Day caps, cleaned streets, drains and white washed walls in Iewduh to Motphran here. At least 200 government employees took part in the cleaning drive with public participants totaling to 1500.

BSF, Inspector General (Assam-Meghalaya) Frontier PK Mishra with his 275 troops, with their wives and children, were the first ones to arrive for the cleaning drive.

'' We are contemplating to carry out a similar cleaning drive at Police bazaar with the help of the district administration,'' Mishra told reporters.

The Army headed by its the General Officer Commanding, 101 Area, Major General KS Sethi, along other Army officials from different units in the cleaning drive.

'' We would like to participate with the district administration in such noble ideas,'' Major General Sethi said. Similarly, the Assam Rifles also took part in the cleaning drive enthusiastically.

Apart from the Army, police and paramilitary forces, different NGOs took part of the cleaning drive.

In Meghalaya, the cleaning drive is carried out each year by different localities. But this is for the first time that the security forces lend a helping hand to the district administration and the members of the public in such a drive.

The idea was a brainchild of Chief Secretary Ranjan Chatterjee, who said: ''we thought a cleaning drive would be the best way to celebrate Meghalaya Day as it would carry a message to keep the city clean and hygienic.'' UNI RRK SJC RN LS RK2316

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