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Five Garo militants arrested in Meghalaya

Shillong, May 21 (Calcutta Tube) Five militants of the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) were arrested in Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills district Friday, a police official said.

The five were arrested from a hideout at Jagme village in the district and a 9 mm pistol with 9 rounds of ammunitions, one air pistol and Rs.5,000 in cash were seized from them, district police chief Sylvester Nongtynger told IANS.

‘The ongoing combing operation against the GNLA militants has been successful and their top rung leaders are on the run,’ he said, adding the operations will continue till all its top leaders are arrested.

This has been the third set-back for GNLA in a week. Police arrested the outfit’s general secretary Novemberth Ch Marak at Siliguri railway station last Saturday, and then one of its camps in Durama Hill between West and South Garo Hills districts was busted Wednesday and arms, ammunition and incriminating documents seized.

The GNLA, which is fighting for a ‘sovereign Garoland’ in western Meghalaya, is headed by Champion R. Sangma, a policeman-turned-rogue, and its cadre are deserters, mostly from the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), the Achik National Volunteers Council (ANVC) and the Liberation of Achik Elite Force (LAEF).

Hemmed in by the security operations, Sangma told IANS by phone Friday that he was ready to surrender before union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and hold talks on ‘Garoland’ demand — significantly dropping demand for ‘sovereign Garoland’. However, he defiantly said he would not surrender to the Meghalaya government.

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