Combing operations in Meghalaya Garo Hills intensified


Shillong : Security forces Thursday intensified combing operations against the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) rebels in western Meghalaya, a police official said Thursday.

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“The operation is in full swing and it has yielded good results. However, we cannot divulge details of the operations at this stage,” Additional Director General of Police B.Kezo told IANS.

A joint team of Meghalaya’s Special Weapons and Tactics, the Central Reserve Police Force and Meghalaya police battalion busted a GNLA training camp at Durama Wednesday in West Garo Hills district, about 350 km west of Shillong.

“Although they (GNLA cadre) managed to escape with their weapons but nonetheless we have recovered certain of their important documents, including recruiting forms,” Kezo said.

The GNLA, one of the five Garo rebel groups, fighting for a ‘sovereign Garoland’ in the western area of Meghalaya, is headed by police officer-turned-rogue Champion R. Sangma.

Garo Hills region, the most backward region in Meghalaya has witnessed a spurt of GNLA’s anti-national activities in the recent months. The rebel group slapped extortion demands on government officials and businessmen in the region.

Home Minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh said government officials posted in Garo Hills region have been directed not to comply with the extortion demands.

“We have directed all government officials to report all extortion notices to police or else face legal action if the government finds them complying with the militants’ demands,” Lyngdoh told IANS.

The minister also said that the state government has sought five companies of the paramilitary Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) to assist the existing paramilitary force in tackling the GNLA menace.