Top Garo militant surrenders in Meghalaya

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Tura (Meghalaya), Aug 7 (IANS) The Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) suffered a major setback after a key aide of its wanted leader Sohan D.Shira surrendered to police in Meghalaya’s South Garo Hills district on Monday.

Baltus N. Marak alias Chachat, the area commander, surrendered to Abraham T. Sangma, the police chief of South Garo Hills district.

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

However, the surrendered militant did not deposit any arm or ammunition.

“Marak told us that he decided to give up the GNLA in view of the intensive counter-insurgency operation in the district,” Sangma said, adding that the rebel leader also admitted that he had a narrow escape in the recent gunfight with the SF-10 commandos in South Garo Hills.

“They (rebels) have been under intense pressure and the only option for them was to surrender. We are hopeful more of them will follow suit,” he added.

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.

–IANS

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