Maoist movement a mutiny in agony: Meghalaya Guv

Shillong: The Maoist movement was a "mutiny in agony" and the ultras had taken up arms because of exploitation of their areas, Meghalaya Governor R S Mooshahary said today.

"These people who were peaceful, humble and peace loving have now raised a war against the Indian union. It has some relevance to the environmental aspect because we have gone and exploited their areas. We have deprived them of their means of livelihood which the forest used to give them," Mooshahary, a former chief of BSF and the elite NSG, said.

"They have nowhere else to go and today if they are taking up the arms, they are sending us the message that what we have done in the last many years have caused them a lot of agony .... And, now we do not know how to control it," the governor said, inaugurating the Shillong CMS Vatavaran environment and wildlife film festival.

Stating that a balance should be ensured between progress and preservation, Mooshahary contended that both were important.

Stressing on the need to create facilities for a better quality of life, he, however said, "In the name of development, if you destroy everything, it will bring bitter problems."

About coal mining in Meghalaya, he said it had rendered large tracts of land unusable. "Rat hole mining is degrading the land. Mining is important... but technology should be used so that the land is restored to its usability."

He also referred to the erstwhile Bodo Liberation Tigers of Assam who after laying down their arms and forming the Bodoland Autonomous Territorial Council were now playing an important role in preserving the Manas National Park.