Relocate IAF station for restricting villagers: Meghalaya legislator

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Shillong, March 15 (IANS) A Meghalaya legislator on Tuesday demanded relocation of the Indian Air Force station from Shillong Peak following restrictions imposed on villagers residing adjacent to the station.

Defence authorities imposed restrictions on movement of civilians following the attack at the Pathankot air base in Punjab.

Hill State Democratic Party legislator Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, who raised a Zero Hour notice in the assembly, said the entry of civilians via the air force station to Pomlakrai and nearby villages as well as to Shillong Peak has been restricted following the attack in Pathankot.

“The restriction has affected the movement of people residing near the air force station as they have no option except to pass through the road and gates under the supervision of the air force there,” he said.

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Basaiawmoit informed the members that the IAF has also started constructing a wall, which may lead to closure of many gates being used by the civilians.

“If possible, the station should be relocated somewhere else,” he said, urging the government to resolve the problem.

“Such a restriction is causing harassment to the people on the pretext of security, as the people have no alternative but to go through the entry and exit gates of the air force,” he said.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said the restriction was imposed following the Pathankot incident on January 2, and the relocation was a subject of the central government.

He said restrictions on entry and exit were also there at Indian Army stations.

The chief minister said his government has taken up the issue with the air force, which has assured opening of the gates for movement of civilians during certain hours.

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There is a two-tier security check for tourists who visit Shillong Peak — the first by state police and the second by air force personnel, he said.

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