Guwahati, Saturday, December 18, 2010

Meghalaya rebel chief surrenders

 Shillong, Dec 18 (IANS): Dimrim N Sangma, chairman of Liberation A'chik Elite Force (LAEF), a separatist group operating in Meghalaya, has surrendered along with arms and ammunition, police said on Friday.


Four of Dimrim's aides - 'Sergeants' Rakshimbirth Sangma and Ninja G Momin, 'Lance Corporal' Akash G Momin and 'Private soldier' Tangrik Sangma - surrendered on Thursday before East Garo Hills District Superintendent of Police, Sylvester Nongtynger.

The rebels deposited a country-made AK rifle, a 7.65 mm pistol with 10 rounds of live ammunition, a grenade, crude bomb, 10 rounds of live MMG ammunition and incriminating documents.

Dimrim gave up the armed struggle for an 'independent A'chik state' for the Garo tribals in western parts of Meghalaya following pressure due to the ongoing combing operations against militants in Garo Hills.

On Dec 2, Nikseng G Momin, chief of the armed wing of LAEF was killed in a gun battle with the security forces in Darugiri Forest in East Garo Hills district.

"The surrender is a major achievement for us and we expect others (rebels) to toe the line," Nongtynger told IANS. He added: "Their surrender marks the end of LAEF outfit which had unleashed a reign of terror for the last five to six years."

The LAEF, which was one of the five Garo rebel groups, maintains closes links with the secessionist Naga rebel group, the NSCN (IM) and ULFA.

Meanwhile, two Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) rebels were arrested from Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma assembly constituency, police said.

Tricing D Sangma and Namseng D Shira were nabbed on Thursday night from Ampati area in Meghalaya's West Garo Hills district, District Deputy Police Chief, Wallamlad Shabong told IANS. "We are still interrogating them to find out their plans," he said.

The GNLA, one of the five Garo rebel groups, is fighting for a sovereign Garoland. It is headed by police officer-turned-rogue Champion R. Sangma, whose followers are mainly deserters of the outlawed ANVC and other rebel outfits.