People’s Liberation Front of Meghalaya
People’s Liberation Front
of Meghalaya (PLF-M) is a relatively new terrorist group operating in
the Garo Hills of Meghalaya. Reports suggest that the outfit has been
re-christened as the Achik National Council (ANC). When the Hynniewtrep
Achik Liberation Council (HALC) split in 1992, it resulted in the formation
of the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), which represents
the Khasis in Meghalaya, and the Achik Liberation Matgrik Army (ALMA),
which wanted a separate Garoland State for the Garos. The PLF-M is an
offshoot of this Achik Liberation Matgrik Army (ALMA). Most of the ALMA
terrorists surrendered in 1994, but a few formed the Achik National
Volunteers' Council (ANVC) in 1995. The PLF-M
consists of some of these "surrendered rebels" of the erstwhile ALMA
who returned underground after their rehabilitation scheme failed. The
exact strength of the outfit is not known.
The claimed objective of
the PLF-M is economic development of the Garo Hills, as well as better
educational opportunities for the Garo tribes in Meghalaya. It also
demands a separate state for the Garos. In this regard, Chengku Momin,
the ‘minister for information and publicity’ of the PLF-M had warned
all the non-Garos, in March 2001, not to contest the State Assembly
and district council elections slated for 2003.
The chairman of the outfit
is Vincent Sangma and Nimush Marak is the ‘Commander in Chief’. Besides
that L K Sangma is one of the ‘area commanders’.
Area of Operation
The outfit is primarily
active in Dainadubi, Williamnagar, in East Garo Hills, and Dalu in West
Garo Hills. Among its activities include extortion of money to generate
funds for its activities. In July 2000, the PLF-M had slapped extortion
notices even on some Member of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) and including
two ministers, from the Garo hills.
The PLF-M reportedly maintains
close connections with the Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC).
August 15: The Police arrested three
persons from Nengringittim in East Garo Hills for allegedly serving
a demand note in the name of PLF-M. They were identified as Sengpang
Sangma, Twisbirth Sangma and Milan Momin. According to Police, the
accused had issued a demand note of INR 0.3 million to a person,
Staforth Sangma, on July 22.
March 19: The
Meghalaya Governor R. S. Mooshahary expressed concern over mushrooming
of militant groups in Garo hills and the activities of Assam-based
outfits along the border. The Governor said that recent developments,
such as reports on the formation of militant groups in Garo hills,
were a cause of concern. Other militant groups active in Garo hills
are LAEF, PLF-M, Achik National Security Defence (ANSD), Atong Liberation
Army (ALA), and United Achik National Front (UANF). ULFA and NDFB
are also active in Garo hills and border of Ri Bhoi District. The
Governor said that the Government was committed to contain militancy
at all costs. The Governor added that the security establishment
of the State has acted swiftly to break up and contain the activities
of the Hynniewtrep Liberation Front (HLF) in Khasi hills, and LAEF
in the Garo hills. He said the activities of the local militant
organisations like the HNLC and ANVC have been substantially controlled.
February 28: 45 militants, including a PLF-M cadre,
surrender along with a huge quantity of arms and ammunition before
Red Horns Division of Indian Army in a surrender ceremony organized
at Rangiya of Kamrup District in Assam.
January 17: Two militants, including
the founder general secretary of the PLFM, John Jubilee D. Shera
Marak, 34, are killed in an encounter with the Army at Hat Hati
bridge near Singhimari village on the National Highway 37 in the
Bongaigaon District of Assam. The Army said the encounter ensued
when Marak, along with Biswajit Sharma, 22, another hardcore cadre
of the outfit, was spotted by the troops in the Chowtaki area under
Abhayapuri Police station. The Army later recovered a 9-mm pistol
with three bullets, a 7.65 pistol with three bullets, an ATM card,
a PAN card, a voter identity card, driving licence and a mobile
handset from the slain militant's possession. The commanding officer
of the Kumaon Regiment, Col S.K. Dutta, said, "Sharma, a man of
Nepali origin, is also a hardcore activist. His driving licence
was issued from Dudhnoi, but his voter card from Mekhiliganj under
Cooch Behar district in North Bengal. We are cross-checking it with
West Bengal police." Marak, hailing from Damas in East Garo Hills,
founded the outfit in 2003. Though he was said to be involved in
several extortions in Tura and its adjoining areas, he is reported
to have shifted base to Dudhnoi in Goalpara and more recently to
October 12: The self-styled 'commander-in-chief'
of the PLF-M, identified as Pollendro Marak, is shot dead by the
East Garo Hills district police during an encounter at a forest
of Bogakol village under Kharkutta police outpost. While around
six other militants manage to escape, one Chinese made M20 pistol
with five live ammunition and several incriminating documents are
recovered from the encounter site.
September 29: A school boy, abducted by PLF-M militants
from his residence in Kharkutta 15 days ago, is released by the
militants in Dolonggiri area of West Garo Hills district.