SHILLONG, April 17 – After its seven day surrender offer was ignored by the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), Meghalaya police today asserted it would now be ‘ruthless’ against the militant outfit.
“We would be ruthless against the GNLA now. They were warned that they must surrender,” Director General of Police N Ramachandran told The Assam Tribune over phone from New Delhi.
Last week, Meghalaya police served the GNLA a deadline of seven days to surrender with their weapons. The militant outfit, however, gave scant respect to the ultimatum.
“It (surrender deadline) was more of a warning to the unarmed cadres of the outfit to leave the camps before the police launches a major offensive,” Ramachandran, who is in New Delhi in connection with the Chief Ministers’ conference on internal security, said.
According to police estimates, there are about 120 -130 unarmed cadres in the GNLA camps, mostly teenagers. He said that the police does not want to shed “unnecessary blood” and therefore has given adequate time to the young cadres to decide about their future.
Till date, Ramachandran said, the police have hesitated to carry out a full-fledged operation against the GNLA because of the unarmed young boys in the camps. “We would plan out our strategies again, but, we have set ourselves no timeframe,” he informed.
The operations against the GNLA are being carried out by a group of security forces drawn from the State police, Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force and Commando Battalion for Resolute Action.
Recently, the operating security forces managed to waylay a group of GNLA and shoot down four of its cadres, some hardcore, in East Garo Hills district.
The DGP, meanwhile, said that the security agencies fighting the GNLA are “confident” of the weaponry under its possession for the operations.