2015: Kalam's Death, Militancy Related Incidents in Meghalaya

D Banjop Mukhim/Shillong
2015: Kalam's Death, Militancy Related Incidents in Meghalaya
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553

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.

"His passing away in the state's capital city of Shillong will bear testimony to the bond he shared with the people of Meghalaya," said Chief Minister Mukul Sangma after his death.

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.

The state government also approved the Meghalaya Apartment Ownership Ordinance, 2015, to regulate the ownership of individual apartments across the state.

In January, the National Green Tribunal directed the Meghalaya government to submit a complete report adopted for the purpose of promoting scientific and permissible mining of coal which was banned since April last year.

It said the compliance with the direction will, to a great extent, help in suppressing clandestine mining of coal in the state.

However, the NGT ban on coal mining and transportation of coal in Meghalaya's Jaintia Hills region resulted in many of those engaged in the activity switching to turmeric farming for their livelihood.

The state was also hit by a power crisis with the Comptroller and Auditor General attributing lack of prudent financial management and consequent non-payment of huge energy dues for it.

This has also resulted in extra and avoidable cost of Rs 102.87 crore to the power corporation over the past five years, CAG said in its report tabled in the State Assembly.

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