Top militants give up arms in Meghalaya

Shillong, Dec 9 (IANS) Three militants of the A’chik Matgrik Elite Force (AMEF), including its ‘chairman’ and ‘military wing chief’, on Wednesday laid down arms before Meghalaya Police in the wake of ongoing combing operations in the Garo Hills.

AMEF ‘chairman’ Sengjan N. Arengh, and ‘military chief’ Timudh D. Marak, along with 17-year-old cadre Pimp K. Sangma surrendered before Meghalaya Director General of Police Rajiv Mehta.

They deposited one AK-47 rifle, one 9 mm Italian pistol, one grenade, a cache of ammunition and magazines besides six AMEF seals.

“We gave up arms as many of our cadres are being arrested or have surrendered or are being killed in gunfights with security forces and also because of the ongoing operations against various (militant) factions in Garo Hills,” Arengh told journalists.

Police launched an operation against Garo militant groups after the Meghalaya High Court last month took serious note of the law and order situation.

The court had even asked the union home ministry and defence ministry to consider the use of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and deployment of armed and paramilitary forces to control the deteriorating law and order situation in the Garo Hills.

The AMEF is a splinter group of the Garo National Liberation Army, a terrorist organisation fighting for a separate Garoland to be carved out of Meghalaya.

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