Shillong, Dec 22: The death of much-loved former President A P J Abdul Kalam after he collapsed while delivering a lecture at IIM-Shillong and militancy-related incidents were among the major happenings in Meghalaya this year.
Meghalaya deeply mourned the death of the 'Missile Man', who also visited the state thrice during his presidency.
Unabated militancy-related incidents claimed the lives over 65 people in militancy-ridden Garo Hills region. The government's efforts to enter into a dialogue for peace with small groups of armed militants culminated with another peace pact signed with the United A'chik Liberation Army (UALA) recently.
The peace pact is the third after the ANVC and its break-a-way faction, the ANVC-B, signed agreements with the state last year.
The continuous reign of terror may have been one of the reasons for the ruling Congress suffering a major defeat at the hands of the Purno A Sangma-led National People's Party in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council polls.
While the NPP won 10 seats, the Congress bagged only seven of the 29 seats it contested, with the rest pocketed by Independents.
BJP also pulled a surprise win when its candidate B B Hajong edged past Congress candidate J C Hajong from Zikzak council constituency in Chief Minister Mukul Sangma's home assembly seat.
The state government welcomed the land swap deal with Bangladesh hoping that it would bring economic benefits to the people residing in the border areas.
Even as the state stands to gain over 240 acres and would hand over 41 acres of land to neighbouring Bangladesh, Chief Minister Sangma exhorted that the 'boundary of discord' will now turn into an area of vibrant trade and commerce to build a bond of friendship.
Two hill-state movement leaders - Congress veteran Patty Ripple Kyndiah and Hill State People's Democratic Party president Hoping Stone Lyngdoh - passed away this year.
The state mourned the death of Lyngdoh, known for steadfastly leading a movement against any attempt to mine uranium in the state.