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M’laya on alert to foil rebel’s threat

Correspondent TURA/SHILLONG, JUL 17
Published on 18 Jul. 2011 1:39 AM IST
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Security forces Sunday were put on high alert in Meghalaya after Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) rebels threatened a serial bomb attack in important locations across Meghalaya. “We will conduct a serial blast in Bara Bazaar, Police Bazaar, Tura market, Williamnagar market and Baghmara market if the government intensifies its operation against us,” Sohan D Shira, the military chief said.
“If the government fail to halt the operation by Monday and withdraw all the central forces from Garo Hills, we will carry out serial blast in Meghalaya,” Shira in a worried tone, asserted. GNLA’s threat came after two units of Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) commandos and five companies of Border Security Force troopers were pushed in Garo Hills region.
 “There is no question of withdrawing the troops or suspending our combing operation against them (rebels), instead we will intensify our operations,” S.K.Jain, the intelligence chief of Meghalaya police told Nagaland Post.
However, an alert has been sounded across the state in view of the GNLA’s threat.
The GNLA, one of the five Garo rebel groups, is fighting for a sovereign ‘Garoland’.
More than 10 people, including security personnel, have been killed in the Garo Hills during the last one year by GNLA rebels.
The outfit headed by police officer-turned-outlaw, Champion R.Sangma, had earlier slapped extortion demands ranging from Rs.5 lakh to Rs.1 crore on government officials, ministers, legislators and businessmen.
Sangma has forged a close operational relationship with other northeast-based insurgent groups such as the United Liberation Front of Asom and National Democratic Front of Bodoland.
GNLA’s foot soldiers are deserters, mostly from the disbanded Achik National Volunteers Council and the Liberation of Achik Elite Force.
The Garo Hills region is being used as a safe haven for various northeast-based militant groups.

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