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Meghalaya militant leader arrested in North Bengal
Correspondent TURA, MAY 16:
Published on 16 May. 2010 11:44 PM IST
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The Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) suffered a major blow when its general secretary Novemberth Ch Marak was arrested at Silugiri railway station in West Bengal on Saturday, police said today.
Novemberth was arrested along with his girlfriend Luxmary Sangma while preparing to board a train to Kolkata, West Garo Hills district Superintendent of Police, Dalton Marak told. The police also arrested the outfit Finance Secretary Solte Marak and Martin Sangma from Williamnagar in East Garo Hills district.
Novemberth felled into the police net based on a tip-off following an announcement of the Meghalaya police to give a handsome reward for any information leading to the arrest of the militant leader.
On April 30, the militant leader managed to give police a slip with an injury following an encounter with the Special Operation Team at the Bolchugre village and has been hiding from one place to another.
“His arrest is a big blow to the GNLA and we are working on his lead to nab the other GNLA top shots,” Marak said. The GNLA is led by Champion R Sangma, a trained deputy superintendent of police turned rogue, is fighting for “sovereign Garoland” in Western Meghalaya.
The nascent militant is maintaining a close operational relationship with other Northeast-based militant outfits – the NSCN (IM), ULFA and NDFB.
“Novemberth himself held several rounds of meetings with the NSCN (IM), including one “Lt Col” Among for arms training and supplies of armoury, while the others (GNLA) held meeting with the ULFA and NDFB,” Marak said.
However, the GNLA presently armed with two AK-47 rifles, a semi machine gun, 20 small arms, 25 number of grenades and country-made bombs and a strength of 30 hardcore trained cadres.
The GNLA which is fighting for ‘sovereign Garoland’ in Western areas Meghalaya is headed by Champion R Sangma, a Meghalaya deputy superintendent of police turned rogue, whose cadres were deserters, mostly from the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, A’chik National Volunteers Council (ANVC) and Liberation of Achik Elite Force (LAEF).
Champion also rope-in John Robert Ch Marak alias Toding, a dismissed constable with the 1st Meghalaya Police battalion joined the GNLA as “Deputy Commander-in-Chief”.
The GNLA had earlier slapped extortion demands ranging from Rs.5 lakh to Rs.1 crore on politicians, petrol pump owners, coal dealers and businessmen in the coal-rich districts of Garo Hills.
A former minister in the previous D.D. Lapang ministry and retired inspector general of police were among those who received the extortion note.

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