Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA)
The Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) was formed in 2009. Since its formation, the GNLA has been involved in killing, abduction, extortion, bomb blasts and attacks on Security Forces (SFs). In the current situation, the State Government is still examining the activities of the outfit before declaring it an outlawed group. The outfit is believed to have around 70 active members, of whom 45 have completed training. The law and order situation in the Garo-dominated areas has deteriorated after the outfit was formed. According to media reports, the Central Government is considering to ban the outfit.
The GNLA is fighting for a 'sovereign Garoland' in the Western areas of Meghalaya.
The outfit was formed by a former Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Meghalaya, Pakchara R. Sangma alias Champion R. Sangma, after deserting the Police Force. He is the 'chairman' of the outfit and Sohan D. Shira, former Achik National Volunteers Council (ANVC) 'area commander' for the East Garo Hills is the 'Commander-in-Chief' of the outfit. The cadre base of the outfit is mainly formed by deserters from ANVC, Liberation of Achik Elite Force (LAEF) and National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).
Area of Operation
The outfit operates in the three Districts of Garo Hills in Western part of Meghalaya. Though the main area of operation of the GNLA was in East Garo Hills and South Garo Hills, it has started to expand its network in coal-rich borders of West Khasi Hills bordering South Garo Hills. Dorengchigre village located in East Garo Hills District is the heartland of GNLA. Also, GNLA 'chairman' is reportedly in Bangladesh seeking support and seeing the probability of setting up base in Dhaka.
The GNLA has forged close operational links with other North-East-based militant groups like the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the NDFB. It also has links with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland--Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM). The outfit has also forged an alliance with the Bangladesh-based militant group, A'chik Special Dragon Party, which operates along the India-Bangladesh border in the western part of Meghalaya.
The Government, which initially dismissed the GNLA as a "bunch of criminals", on December 12, 2010, invited the group for talks to "facilitate their surrender". Reacting to the proposal, the 'chairman' of the outfit, Pakchara R. Sangma, on May 21, 2011, said, "The GNLA will come forward for talks only if the Centre requests it." He, however, refused to surrender.
Source:Compiled from news reports and are provisional.