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M’laya police unearth mobile racket after top militant arrest
Correspondent TURA, MAY 18:
Published on 18 May. 2010 11:32 PM IST
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Meghalaya police Tuesday busted a massive mobile SIM card racket involving other insurgency-prone Manipur and Nagaland.
The racket was earthed at Tura, the district headquarters of West Garo Hill following the disclosure of Novembirth Ch Marak, a top Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) militant leader to the police.
Novembirth is the founder and general secretary of GNLA was arrested from Siliguri railway station in West Bengal Saturday, dealing a blow to the group’s network.
“We have detained three agents of different mobile companies -- Aircel, Airtel, BSNL and Reliance – for questioning based on Novembirth confession,” Bobby Momin, a deputy Superintendent of Police in West Garo Hills district, said.
According to Novembirth, Momin said that the mobile agents operating in Tura arranged pre-paid SIM cards from Dimapur in Nagaland and Manipur.
“They bring registered pre-paid SIM cards from Dimapur and Manipur and sells them to people violating all telecom norms,” Momin said.
The GNLA, which is fighting for a ’sovereign Garoland’ in the western areas of Meghalaya, is headed by Champion R. Sangma, a policeman-turned-rogue, had demanded extortion money from various through mobile text messages ranging from Rs.5 lakh to Rs.1 crore.
The Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) had slapped these extortion demands to 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 a retired inspector general of police were among those who received extortion demands.
The Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), a nascent militant outfit operating in three Garo Hills districts, the western part of Meghalaya, maintains links with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM), United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), EOM from the NDFB, A’chik National Volunteers Council (ANVC) and Liberation of Achik Elite Force (LAEF).

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