GNLA commander killed, camp busted in Meghalaya

September 14th, 2012 - 6:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, Sep 14 (IANS) Security forces Friday busted a hideout of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) in the western part of Meghalaya, killing a top rebel commander of the outfit in a fierce gunbattle, police said.

The gunbattle broke out in the GNLA’s hideout at Dorengkigre area in East Garo Hills district, when the rebels fired at the security forces who were tracking them, Inspector General of Police (Western Range) F.D. Sangma told IANS.

Dorengkigre area is about 20 km from Williamnagar, the district headquarters of East Garo Hills.

Githarson T. Sangma alias Tusol, the area commander of GNLA in West Khasi Hills district was killed, Sangma said, adding that the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) commandos, backed by CoBRA (Combat Battalion for Resolute Action) commandos, are searching for another rebel who is believed to be critically wounded.

One sophisticated Heckler and Koch rifle, two pistols and two grenades, besides a cache of ammunition were recovered from the site. The GNLA, one of the five Garo tribal rebel groups, is fighting for a separate Garoland in the five impoverished districts of Garo Hills to be carved out from Meghalaya.

The outfit, fighting for a separate Garoland, is headed by arrested Champion R. Sangma, a former deputy superintendent of police who deserted the Meghalaya Police owing to alleged harassment by his superiors and floated the GNLA in November 2009.

Sangma was arrested July 30 near the India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya. The state government had terminated his services in July 2010.

The outfit, which has been outlawed by the central government, forged an operational alliance with the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), which provided it access to sophisticated arms and ammunition.

GNLA rebels, who number around 100, unleashed a reign of terror in the three impoverished districts of Garo Hills in the last one year and killed over 35 people, including security personnel.

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