Demonetisation push GNLA’s second-in-command to surrender

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Tura (Meghalaya), Dec 9 (IANS) The outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) suffered a major setback after its number two surrendered on Friday post demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

Nikam Ch Momin alias Baichung, the second in command and wanted in several killings and extortions cases, surrendered to Anand Mishra, the police chief of South Garo Hills district, a police official said.

“It is a huge setback for the GNLA leadership. We are expecting more of them to surrender following the demonetisation,” Mishra told IANS.

The surrendered terrorist deposited a Heckler & Koch-33 Rifle, 120 rounds of live ammunition, one 1 magazine, some other items besides two mobile handsets, four SIM cards and incriminating documents.

Mishra said the surrender came after Baichung survived many gunfights with police and security forces including one recently in Dabalgre area in which two GNLA terrorists were killed.

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Baichung’s surrender also followed the police detecting his terror fund generated by him post demonetisation. Police had arrested two civilians — Sengchang Momin and Solly Sangma — for depositing Rs 28,00,000 in bank accounts in Tura at the behest of Baichung.

“Under heavy pressure by police operations, crackdown upon terror money, arrests of over ground workers and simultaneously opening a channel for negotiation by civil society has resulted in this surrender which has finally broken the backbone of GNLA,” Mishra said.

The GNLA, which claims to be fighting for a separate Garoland in western Meghalaya, is headed by police officer-turned-rebel Champion R. Sangma, who is now in the Shillong jail after being arrested from near the India-Bangladesh border in 2012.

It has forged an alliance with the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent.

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