Operation HillStorm 3 and GNLA: What happened in 2016
Militancy hit Garo Hills has seen one of its most peaceful years in possibly a decade and a half with a spate of high profile surrenders with the year end demonetization announcement literally breaking the back of the fear factory in Garo Hills.
Here are some of the brief events which took place in the insurgency torn Garo hills in Meghalaya
#1. Ongoing police operations within Garo Hills saw quite a few high profile cadres of Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) being killed under 'Operation Hillstorm – 3. Senior members of the outfit including bomb expert Kandem, area commander Pangkam, Kharkutta area commander Salnang Sangma were killed dealing a huge blow to the GNLA.
#2. Counter militancy operations further led to the dismantling of a huge number of camps in the heart of the GNLA stronghold of Durama Hills.
#3. The commander in chief of the outfit, Sohan D Shira too had quite a few encounters with SWAT and SF-10 commandoes.
#4. One of the biggest game changer however was the huge number of surrenders of cadres of the GNLA leaving only a handful of men with the GNLA itself. All top members of the outfit surrendered arms beginning with the high profile surrender of Northern commander, Philiport (Rakban D Shira along with his entire command.
#5. The biggest surrender of the year came when Hedeo Ch Momin who literally brought most of the GNLA ammunition to the table with a huge cache of over 1300 anti-aircraft ammunition and over 3400 medium machine gun fire being surrendered. He also brought along his entire command. His surrender led to the surrender of the deputy commander in chief of GNLA, Rupanto (Zen Robert Ch Marak who surrendered to EGH police along with Rangdat (Armindo B Marak) who himself was a high ranking officer of the outfit.
#6. The circle of surrenders was completed with Nikam Ch Momin (Baichung) also laying down arms in Chokpot to the SP of SGH, Anand Mishra, with another of his followers surrendering the same evening, albeit at a different location.
#7. Police intercepted various attempts by the outfit to convert cash Including two overground workers who were arrested while they were attempting to convert demonetized money recovering over Rs 35 lakhs from them. An earlier raid in the house of Sohan by EGH police led to the recovery of Rs 1.5 lakhs in cash as well as 27 bank pass books being seized to prevent the routing of demonetized cash.
#8. In another case on December 1, SGH police arrested one Solly Sangma (33) on attempts to channel GNLA money along with two other people. Rs 17 lakhs, that was deposited in two accounts was also frozen.
#9. Things got into such a tangle for the outfits that an outfit member of the GNLA, identified as M Sangma, was arrested from Tura after extorting an amount of Rs 84,000 allegedly from numerous businessmen!
#10. Militancy has seen a downturn throughout the year with most militants coming over-ground and talks of more militants of various outfits coming over-ground. While the GNLA has been hit the worst, the arrest of the wife of the ASAK commander, Reding T Sangma from Mindikgre in SGH, also added to the problems of militants and militancy.
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