More Garo rebels to surrender: Meghalaya home minister

Sunday, December 19, 2010

SHILLONG - Meghalaya Home Minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh Sunday expressed optimism that more Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) rebels would surrender to end their armed struggle for a sovereign Garoland.

“We are expecting more of them (GNLA rebels) to toe the line (surrender) as some of them have realised they have chosen the wrong path,” Lyngdoh told IANS.

The tribal Garo rebel group, which operates in the three districts of Garo Hills in Western part of Meghalaya, Saturday suffered a major blow when its general secretary Gregory A. Sangma surrendered.

Gregory’s bodyguards - Goran D. Sangma and Jamin Sangma - also surrendered with him to Sylvester Nongtynger, the police chief of East Garo Hills.

Lyngdoh said the combing operation against the GNLA would continue to put pressure on the rebel leaders to surrender.

“The operation is in full swing. We have yielded good results and therefore, these operations will continue to force them (GNLA rebels) to surrender,” he said.

Earlier, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma had ruled out talks with the GNLA, but said the government would convince leaders of the outfit to surrender.

Meanwhile, the surrendered GNLA general secretary claimed that more GNLA cadres would surrender citing differences in their ideology with their leaders - chairman Champion R. Sangma and Sohan D. Shira, the chief of GNLA’s military wing.

The GNLA, one of the five Garo rebel groups, is headed by police officer-turned-rogue Champion R. Sangma, whose followers are mainly deserters from other rebel outfits.

The outfit maintains links with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) for its arms and training support.

Filed under: Terrorism

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