Meghalaya tighten ups its security ahead of PM visit

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Shillong, Feb 26 (UNI) Security has been further intensified in the state capital ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's maiden visit to Meghalaya tomorrow following the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC)-sponsored 12-hour bandh.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to arrive here by helicopter from Kohima and land at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Pologround tomorrow to address a gathering at 1400 hours.

The rally ground had been virtually turned into a fortress to prevent movement of people inside the ground.

Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee president O L Nongtdu said the meeting is expected to draw a huge gathering.

He said the party had asked all the 60 candidates to attend the Prime Minister's election rally.

A multi-tier security cover had been pressed into service to thwart any design of militants to create trouble during the rally, a senior police official said.

Security had been tightened across the state to prevent any untoward incident, state DGP BK Dey Sawian told UNI here.

Mr Sawian said the state was already put on a high alert.

Announcing the 12-hour bandh, HNLC spokesman Sainkupar Nongtraw said the HNLC would continue to oppose visits of the 'Indian leaders' which it considered as ''nothing but a hollow gesture'' and the motive was just to ''befool and buy'' the people.

The HNLC called a similar bandh on the day of Congress president Sonia Gandhi's visit last Saturday, but it evoked little response.

The outfit alleged that the ruling Government in New Delhi was not sincere in peace talks with HNLC.

Meanwhile, AICC general secretary in-charge, Meghalaya, Margaret Alva and senior party leaders would receive the Prime Minister.

LJP president and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan would also address rallies here tomorrow at Malki ground.

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