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Arrest of GNLA leader will weaken its activities : Police

Posted on Nov 28, 07:56PM | UNI

The Meghalaya police today claimed to have broken the backbone of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) with regards to procurement of arms following the arrest of its cadre Haiderson Sangma.

Sangma was arrested on November 26 from Balipathar market under Bokajan police station of Karbi Anglong district near the Nagaland-Assam border.

Speaking to reporters at Nongpoh today, Ri-Bhoi Superintendent of Police (SP) Claudia Lyngwa said Sangma had established network in three states- Nagaland, Assam and Meghalaya for procurement of arms for the GNLA.

'Haiderson Sangma is one of the top most GNLA cadres. He is a seasoned man who can arrange maximum arms for GNLA from Nagaland. He is the most trusted among cadres by Sohan D Shira commander-in-chief," Ms Lyngwa said.

She also said Sangma is the area commander of the GNLA looking after Guwahati, Pillingkata, Patharkhmah, Jorabat as well as Dimapur under the instruction of Sohan D Shira.

'If we could not arrest him, more kidnappings in Ri-Bhoi district may take place and it may be problem for the security forces to contain the situation,' she said.

'With the arrest of Sangma, the entire operation of GNLA especially transit of arms and ammunition to his organisation, will be hampered,' the SP informed.

Ms Lyngwa also narrated the modus operandi carried out by police after the GNLA militants abducted Mahesh Agarwal, a saw mill manager from Umiam on November 19.

She also revealed that a slip of paper seized from a house near Industrial Estate at Umiam had provided police with leads regarding the kidnappers, details about the abducted businessman and some telephone numbers.

'That slip of paper gave us vital lead and we intensified the operation after which we cordoned a forest area at Umiam since kidnappers along with abducted businessman remained inside the forest for many days,' she said.

As the abductors failed to move out of the area, police had exercised restraint fearing that any gunfight could cause physical harm to the abducted businessman.

'They (kidnappers) however freed the businessman on November 23 evening after ransom was paid to Haiderson Sangma at a place in Karbi Anglong district,' Ms Lyngwa informed.

Later, police arrested a person identified as Kiran who is the sympathiser of GNLA from Chandmari in Guwahati.

Police asked Kiran to contact Haiderson and set up a meeting at a place in Sukhanjan in Karbi Anglong, Assam.

'We took Kiran to Karbi Anglong and waited for Haiderson in a place called Balipathar market. When Haiderson came to the area in a motor bike, our men immediately caught him,' Ms Lyngwa added.