Criminalisation of politics: Meghalaya lawmakers demand NIA probe

Shillong : Opposition legislators in Meghalaya Tuesday demanded a probe by the NIA into politicians hobnobbing with militants, even as Chief Minister Mukul Sangma assured that law would prevail in the state.

“There was ample proof of criminalisation of politics in Meghalaya. Yet, we choose to remain blind to this or pretend it does not exist,” National People’s Party legislator James Sangma said, moving a motion on criminalisation of politics.

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Sangma asked the government to initiate a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the entire political spectrum.

Hill State People’s Democratic Party leader Ardent Basaiawmoit also demanded an inquiry to unearth the truth on the nexus between militants and politicians.

“The mushrooming of militant outfits in Garo Hills justifies that there is obviously a nexus between politician and these outfits. It would not be possible for these groups to flourish without receiving political patronage,” he said.

He said even Chief Minister Sangma “is not free from this allegation”.

“It has appeared many times in news reports that our chief minister is having a nexus with militants. Has there been any investigation into all these?” he asked.

He said the recent chargesheeting of a minister only proved that Meghalaya was not free from criminalisation of politics.

Acknowledging that criminalisation of politics needs to be looked at from a broader perspective, Sangma told the assembly members that law would prevail in the state, and said “no one will be spared”.

He, however, brushed aside the allegations levelled against him.

“I have filed a defamation suit on the allegation made against me that I am the ‘chairman’ of all militant outfits,” he said.