Meghalaya’s views sought to declare GNLA outlawedNovember 1st, 2011 - 1:25 pm ICT by IANS
Shillong, Nov 1 (IANS) The central government has sought the views of the Meghalaya government before declaring the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) an outlawed rebel outfit, an official said Tuesday.
“We have asked for comments of the Meghalaya government to impose a ban on the GNLA after assessing its terrorist activities,” joint secretary in the home ministry (in-charge of North East Affairs) Shambu Singh told IANS.
The GNLA, which is headed by police officer-turned outlaw Champion R. Sangma, has unleashed a reign of terror in the three impoverished districts of Garo Hills in the western part of Meghalaya.
Over 20 people, including security personnel, have been killed in the Garo Hills in the last one year by GNLA rebels. On Monday evening, four police personnel and a civilian were killed and two policemen were critically injured by the rebels at Nengpatchi in East Garo Hills district.
“We are expecting the Meghalaya government to submit their views and recommendation before declaring it (GNLA) as an outlawed outfit,” Singh said.
Meghalaya home department official said the state government would submit its views as early as possible.
“We are still examining their (GNLA) activities and threats before recommending the central government to impose a ban,” said a Meghalaya government official on condition of anonymity.
Champion, who claims to be fighting for a ’separate Garoland’ in the western area of Meghalaya, has been camping in Bangladesh for several months in search of support.
The outfit has also forged an alliance with the Bangladesh-based rebel group, A’chik Special Dragon Party.
Meghalaya shares a 443-km border with Bangladesh, part of which is porous, hilly and unfenced and prone to frequent infiltration.
It has forged an operational alliance with the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).
Both the Assam-based rebel groups have transformed the GNLA into a violent group with access to sophisticated arms and ammunitions.
The GNLA has over 100 rebels, including a few women cadres, operating in the three impoverished districts. The outfit has procured a cache of HK53 rifles and explosives to add to their arsenal.
The outfit had earlier slapped extortion demands ranging from Rs.5 lakh to Rs.1 crore on government officials, ministers, legislators and businessmen.
The Garo Hills region is being used as a safe haven by various northeast-based militant groups.
With the outlawed A’chik National Volunteers Council (ANVC) on a ceasefire agreement with the central government, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) and the ULFA spawned several militant groups with the main intention of exploiting the lucrative extortion in the coal-rich areas of the Garo Hills region.
The GNLA, which is one among the smaller militant outfits, is believed to have been formed with the help of the NSCN-IM to extort money.
Another outlawed outfit, the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), which has been demanding a sovereign Khasi homeland in Meghalaya, is currently on the backfoot with most of its cadres, including its chairman Julius K. Dorphang surrendering to the government.
- GNLA chief arrested near Bangladesh border in Meghalaya (Lead) - Jul 30, 2012
- GNLA chief arrested due to efforts of India, Bangladesh - Jul 31, 2012
- Rebel group asks Assam-based groups to leave Meghalaya - Aug 15, 2011
- Determined to end Garo terror outfit: Chidambaram - Feb 19, 2012
- Suspected Meghalaya rebels abduct official, traders - Nov 21, 2011
- Rebels free Meghalaya official after 34 days - Dec 24, 2011
- Top rebel leader in Bangladesh, say Meghalaya Police - Jul 07, 2011
- Meghalaya rebels set conditions for releasing official - Nov 23, 2011
- Meghalaya launches operation to rescue abducted official - Nov 22, 2011
- Meghalaya examining GNLA activities ahead of ban - Jul 21, 2011
- Operation launched to nab fugitive Meghalaya militants - Sep 27, 2010
- Meghalaya seeks central assistance to nab rebel leader - Jul 19, 2011
- Meghalaya rebel chief nabbed in Bangladesh : Police - Nov 25, 2011
- Garo rebel outfit chief lodged in Bangladesh jail: BSF - Jun 23, 2012
- Meghalay rebel leader's arrest shrouded in mystery - Nov 26, 2011
Tags: assam, central government, east affairs, east garo hills, garo hills district, government official, home ministry, infiltration, meghalaya, national democratic front, national liberation army, rebel group, rebel groups, reign of terror, security personnel, shambu, shillong, terrorist activities, ulfa, united liberation front