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Meghalaya Timeline - 2017

Date Incident

January 10

Eleven traders were abducted by suspected militants near Gasuapara in South Garo Hills. However, out of 11, eight traders managed to escape from the abductors. The three traders, who are still in the captivity of the abductors, are identified as Tamal Dey (38), Dulan Mahanta (36) and Durgapada Dutta (35). All these three traders are from Dalu in West Garo Hills District.

January 11

According to the sources, the GNLA still had 30 active members including self-styled 'c-in-c' Sohan D Shira and others wanted leaders like Kamdak and Megam. The Meghalaya DGP Swaraj Bir Singh said, "The GNLA has been weakened but there is certain nucleus located in separate areas that needed to be overrun." The sources also said that the GNLA was still in touch with the ULFA-I leadership.

January 12

Meghalaya Police announced a reward of INR 200,000 on the whereabouts of Reding T. Sangma, the 'c-in-c' of militant group ASAK. SP of South Garo Hills District, Anand Mishra, while announcing the reward, said, "Any person who provides any information which leads to the apprehension of Reding T. Sangma will be rewarded in cash a sum of INR 2 lakh by the office of the Superintendent of Police, South Garo Hills."

January 16

State Police officials stated that the GNLA militants had started using children as a shield to protect themselves from the ongoing operations being carried out by SFs in Garo Hills Districts. SP (South Garo Hills), Anand Mishra, in this regard, said, "With pressure mounting on GNLA militants, whose strength is dwindling, the use of children by the militants has been reported from parts of South Garo Hills." Police have reports from several villages that the militants had taken away many children. According to the sources, the militants are using the children also to get information about the movement of security personnel and to carry ration, besides entrusting them to do other menial jobs. The Police official also said that a Police team had visited several villages and contacted parents to know the whereabouts of their missing children.

January 17

Abductors released three traders, identified as Tamal Dey (38), Dulan Mahanta (36) and Durga Pada Dutta (35), from their captivity at an unidentified place near Telekali Reserve Forest close to Rongrikkimgre village in South Garo Hills District. The trio was abducted by a group of criminals linked to Bangladesh from a place near Gasuapara in South Garo Hills District on January 10. The role of the militant group ASAK also came to the fore as reports emerged about the abductors seeking the help of 'c-in-c' Reding T. Sangma to aid in the negotiation for ransom with an assurance of a share of the loot. The families of the abducted people paid a ransom of INR 25,000.

Extortion activities, which had been on the wane since the announcement of demonetisation, have resumed once again in the Garo Hills Districts, albeit with the activities confined mainly to the coal belt areas for now. "There were stories going around about people being kidnapped by militants not for extortion but for depositing their old notes. It did happen in many interior areas of South and North Garo Hills, where militants pressurized villagers to deposit their old notes," said a highly placed Police source. Some businessmen too of these two Districts may have been pressured to deposit old notes by the outfits.

Police recovered thirty gelatin sticks and twenty-four fuses from one abandoned labour camp at Mynpher under Nongkhlieh area in Jaintia Hills District.

January 19

One unidentified civilian got killed in the crossfire between GNLA and Police in the remote Rongsu Agal area in South Garo Hills District. According to the report, GNLA militants opened fire on the Police team which had reached the spot after receiving information about the hideout which was used by GNLA 'c-in-c' Sohan D Shira. Police recovered a shotgun and several live rounds of AK ammunition from the militant hideout.

A GNLA linkman, identified as Tengman D Shira (25), was arrested by Police in Thapa Darengchi village in North Garo Hills District. Police recovered one 7.65 mm pistol with three rounds (Chinese make), 9 mm pistol with eight rounds (factory made), one Chinese pistol with 18 rounds and four magazines from the arrested linkman.

SFs arrested one GNLA linkman identified as Thengman Sangma (25) from Thapa Agitchak village in North Garo Hills District. Three pistols and 25 rounds of live ammunition were recovered from the arrestee.

January 20

The civilian victim of the crossfire that took place between GNLA militant and Police remote Rongsu Agal area in South Garo Hills District on January 19 was identified as Kerok R Marak (23) by the villagers.

January 22

Four unidentified civilians were abducted by suspected ASAK militant, from Kolapara village near Sibbari in South Garo Hills District. According to Police, six armed cadre of suspected ASAK militant waylaid a truck and a bus and abducted the two drivers and two helpers at gunpoint.

January 23

In a joint statement, the CorCom, GNLA, HNLC and the ULFA-I called for a 'total shut down' in the entire North East India on Indian Republic day (26th January). In the joint statement issued by the militant groups asserted that the 'WESEA' should 'collectively boycott' the Indian Republic Day on January 26, 2017.

January 30

SFs arrested two HNLC militants, identified as Samuel Wahlang Pahsyntiew (30) and Hebingstun Khongbuh (18) from Shillong in East Khasi Hills District. Police said that both are new cadres of HNLC, but Samuel Wahlang Pahsyntiew was trained in Bangladesh camp of the militant group.

Three abducted persons from West Garo Hill District, identified as Muzamil Haque, Biswajit Neogi alias Bappi and Mohammad Rouf Asraf Ayub, were released by the abductors of ASAK militant in the Ramchenga jungles near Dumnikura in South Garo Hills District.

February 1

A GNLA militant, identified as 'deputy commander' and working with the 'finance wing' Ninja M. Sangma alias Megam (23), surrendered before the Police at Williamnagar in East Garo Hills District. He, however, did not deposit any weapons. Sangma has informed Police that the finance unit comprised seven cadres prior to his surrender and has now been further reduced to five men after another member disappeared a few weeks ago apparently to form his own group.

Police arrested three militants belonging to ASAK along with one cadre of the GNLA at South Garo Hills District. The ASAK militants, who were arrested in between January 31-February 1, were identified as Sahid Ch Marak (26), Lamingstone Ch Sangma (29) and Jainish R Marak (29).The GNLA militant, who was arrested from Gare Nawak village, near Nangalbibra was identified as Herod R Marak (32).

February 2

Meghalaya DGP S.B. Singh said that the 'c-in-c' of the disbanded militant group- UALA, Norrok X. Momin, was not traceable and probably he was on the run since there were criminal cases pending against him. UALA was disbanded on June, 2016. Earlier in December 2015, the UALA signed a peace pact with the Indian Government.

The senior leader of the GNLA militant, Ninja M Sangma (23) alias Megam, who surrendered on February 1, revealed that there were only 27 cadres left in the militant group. Furthermore, he revealed that besides these cadres, there were also five other cadres of ULFA-I militant who were still working with 'c-in-c' of GNLA, Sohan D Shira.

Acting on inputs, Police raided the house of Raimond Lyngdoh (30) at Kudeng Rim village under Amlarem in West Jaintia Hills District and recovered one country-made gun, pellets, one steel pipe [apparently for manufacturing the gun barrel]. Police also arrested the house owner.

February 4

Police said that the 'chief' of the ASAK militant, Reding T. Sangma, who is currently on the run, is reportedly using Bangladeshi mobile SIM cards to avoid detection. According to the Police the militant leader is also using other modern software which is easily available in the market to avoid Police tracking.

In some declassified reports of CIA of the United States of America, it was revealed that the North Eastern militant groups had been receiving Chinese assistance in terms of arms and training since 1960s. The CIA report was submitted on July 26, 1968 and from the report it is evident that the militant groups of the Northeast were receiving help from China even during that time. The report said that the Naga militants first established contacts with China in December, 1966. The report revealed that the first batch of approximately 200 militants crossed over to Northern Burma (now Myanmar) to obtain arms training in Yunnan.

February 5

In a statement, the disbanded ANVC-B threatened to work against the Indian National Congress party led Meghalaya MUA-II Government in the upcoming 2018 assembly elections in Garo Hills area. In the statement the ANVC-B alleged that the Government had not respected the peace agreement signed by them and the State Government including the Central Government of India. The statement further accused the State Government that they had been trying to 'create division' between the 'leadership' and the general cadres of the ANVC-B.

February 7

The BSF arrested three illegal citizens of Bangladesh from Baghmara in South Garo Hills District and another one at Lalghat in South West Garo Hills District. The arrested illegal Bangladeshi citizens were identified as Mohammad Rukoddin (18), Sharif Miya (15), Mohammad Ridul Islam (16) and Mohammad Zuwel Miya (20).

February 14

Seven workers of a limestone quarry at Sangkini Dabgre near Sangkinigre village of Chokpot region in South Garo Hills District were abducted by suspected Garo militants. The workers were identified as Shyama Rabha, Manoj Das, Dipak Baiswa, Khitish Rabha, Amulya Kalita, Dinobandhu Roy and Kameshwar Pandit. According to the Police, the ASAK headed by Reding T. Sangma is the prime suspect for involving the abduction so far. However, they are also not ruling out the involvement of Sohan D. Shira-led GNLA, which is said to have a small number of armed cadres operating in the Chokpot region.

Clarifying the stand of the present Union Government towards insurgents groups, the UMHA has indicated to a parliamentary panel that it is open to negotiations with only those militant formations that abjure violence and opt for a solution within the Constitution of India. The Government proposes to adopt a multi-pronged strategy to deal with extremists/separatists of the northeastern region. The parliamentary panel in its report advised that the government should start dialogue with these groups and address sympathetically their grievances within the framework of the Constitution of India with an aim of bringing them into the mainstream. The multi-pronged strategy includes this aspect also.

Currently, the Union government is engaged in peace talks with various insurgent groups of the Northeast and talks are continuing with the ULFA-PTF, NDFB-P, NDFB-RD, KLNLF- all from Assam, while the NSCN-IM, NSCN-KN and NSCN-R of Nagaland are under ceasefire agreements.

A total of 23 underground outfits of Manipur, consisting two conglomerates - the UPF and KNO are currently under SoO agreement with the Union Government. Three valley-based underground outfits of Manipur - the URF, KCP-L and KYKL-MDF have signed MoU with the Union Government.

The Union Government has informed that pursuant to the policy of talks, various insurgent outfits, including the UPDS, DHD of Assam and ANVC and ANVC-B of Meghalaya have signed memorandum of settlement with the Government and dissolved themselves. As a result, a number of members of insurgent outfits have surrendered after laying down arms and joined the mainstream of society.

February 18

Suspected militants of Reding T. Sangma led ASAK released the seven abducted limestone quarry workers at Kama Adugre near Sangkinigre in South Garo Hills District. The six lorry drivers and a mechanic, identified as Shyama Rabha, Manoj Das, Dipak Baiswa, Khitish Rabha, Amulya Kalita, Dinobandhu Roy and Kameshwar Pandit, were sleeping at the quarry site at Sangkini Dapgre village in Chokpot (South Garo Hills) when they were abducted on February 14. The men after their release walked on foot to reach the main road early on February 19th morning and further went to their respective homes. Although it is not clear whether any ransom money was paid to secure their release, Police is not completely ruling out this possibility.

February 19

'Chairman' Bernard N Marak of the now disbanded ANVC-B alleged that the account numbers of the former cadres were submitted without the knowledge of the 'leaders' of the outfit and described it as an attempt to derail the Garo settlement with corrupt intention and also to deprive the ex-cadres of their due packages. According to him on December 9, 2016 former ANVC-B 'leaders' and senior members had a meeting where all cadres, clarified how Police made them to believe that accounts were to be submitted to the Police else they will not receive any packages.

February 20 A team of Special Force-10 commandos, in an encounter, killed a GNLA militant, Walamdaria M. Sangma, at Riangdim village in Shallang in West Khasi Hills District. A group of GNLA militants were there to collect tax from coal dealers and exporters.
February 21 The 'chairman' of GNLA, Champion Sangma, was granted bail by a lower court, more than four years after his arrest from an area near Indo-Bangladesh border on July 30, 2012.
February 23

The State Government revealed that it incurred a loss of INR 259.4 million in terms of salary to its employees, including teachers, during the agitations in 2013 called by 14 pressure groups demanding implementation of the ILP system in Meghalaya.

The loss was highlighted in the deposition made before the Special Court dealing with ILP-related case by Commissioner and Secretary of the Personnel Department L. Diengdoh.

February 24

Four senior cadres of the GNLA, including an area commander, surrendered to Police at Williamnagar in East Garo Hills. The four militants, 'commander' Sengbat Ch Momin alias Kamdak, Wesefield Ch Marak alias Dakchak, Joshua N. Marak alias Kolgrik alias Balmika and Tush M. Marak alias Gotcheng, submitted three automatic rifles and ammunitions during the surrender.

The BSF has informed the BGB that seven militant outfits from the Northeast have set up as many as 20 camps in Bangladesh. Sources in the BSF said the NLFT has 10 camps, HNLC from Meghalaya's Khasi hills has three camps, ULFA-I and MPLA have two camps each while GNLA of Meghalaya, PREPAK and KYKL, both from Manipur, have a camp each.

February 25

A Police team included SF-10 commandos, in an encounter, killed 'c-in-c' of disbanded UALA, Singbirth N. Marak alias Norok. X. Momin, who was on the run, in a hideout located inside a forest near Thapa Matronggre village in North Garo Hills District. The Police team recovered a Chinese AK-47 rifle, a US pistol, one hand grenade, ammunition, SIM cards and some documents from the encounter site. "The gunfight began when the armed militants fired at the commandos while resisting to surrender," Dalton P, Marak, the SP of North Garo Hills, said. Police further claimed that four others had managed to flee the spot under the cover of darkness.

Singbirth N Marak alias Norok X Momin, who had reluctantly participated in the disbanding ceremony on June 9, 2016, allegedly hid a sizeable number of arms from the Police. In 2016, East Garo Hills District Police intercepted a cache of weapons and ammunition that were being shipped to GNLA and also recovered the payment amounting to several lakhs of rupees that was paid for the weapons. With a red alert against him, Norok slipped into Assam and began the process of forming a new militant group with the support of NDFB, ULFA and a section of UALA which, according to Police, had already been named as UANF.

February 27

Unidentified militants abducted a coal labourer, identified as Azanur Islam, from a coal mine at Era Aning under Nangalbibra in East Garo Hills District.

March 1

The 'chairman' of the GNLA, Champion Sangma was back in judicial custody due to the case of extortion in Baghmara of South Garo Hills District, in which he was charge sheeted by the Police. Earlier, on February 21 Champion Sangma was granted bail by the lower court in connection with another case.

March 2

The 'c-in-c' of the ASAK militant, Reding T Sangma alias Saljapang, surrendered before Police along with seven other cadres of the militant group at Baghmara in South Garo Hills District. The other cadres who surrendered along with Reding are identified as Tengrang A. Sangma alias Gring (18), Seldom K. Sangma alias Jorai (25), Pintu R. Marak alias Waira (19), Kiljang M Sangma alias Amrak (17), Hame Ch Marak (25), Biani Ch Marak (28) and Tengman M. Sangma (28). Police recovered a German made Heckler and Koch automatic rifle with 128 live rounds, three single barrel shotguns (SBBL), four walkie-talkie communication handsets and 22 electronic detonators and explosive powder from the surrendered militant.

March 3

A GNLA militant, identified as Chadam Ramed A Marak alias Mad alias Chitmang (22), surrendered before Police at Baghmara in South Garo Hills District.

The State Government has made a shift in the Government's approach to ending militancy in the State. Unlike in the past when there would be repeated appeals to militants for talks, the Government is now focusing on facilitating the rebels to surrender.

CM Mukul Sangma announced the appointment of Former State DGP, Rajiv Mehta, as the State's maiden security adviser. CM Mukul Sangma, explaining the logic behind the decision, said that the State required a dedicated and experienced person with a thorough knowledge of the State and the region while dealing with internal security. CM further said the security adviser will give suggestions and recommendations regarding strategies while dealing with state security, border issues with neighboring countries like Bangladesh, human rights issues and strengthening Police organisation, among others. The appointment is for the duration of one year.

In addition, the SSC has not decided whether officiating DGP S.B. Singh should be given full charge or if the panel should opt for a new DGP. The CM informed that the SSC would meet next week to take a call on the issue. The State is yet to have a full-fledged DGP.

One militant of newly formed militant group ARA, identified as Rohit M. Sangma alias Gettingson Sangma of Karbi Anglong District, Assam, was arrested after an encounter during Police checking at Thapa Darenchi village in North Garo Hills District. He is one of the close aids of the leader of the militant group William A. Sangma.

March 4

An official source of IB said that the ULFA-I and GNLA have planned to carry major explosions and attack on security forces in Lower Assam and Garo hills. The IB source further said that, the outfit groups plan to use professional criminals and carriers to carry explosives and to plant IED and bombs. After intercepting telephonic conversation between two top leaders of ULFA-I and GNLA, IB officials managed to find out the planning of the outfits. The source said that, IB has already informed the UHM, Police and Home Departments of both States and other security agencies about the militants plan.

March 5

In a statement, the HNLC militant denied the surrender option of the State Government and said that it will continue 'the struggle'. In the statement, the 'publicity secretary' of HNLC, Sainkupar Nongtraw, said that the 'council' has its own principles and till today they are receiving annual support in terms of finance, arms and ammunitions from 'anti-India countries' which when compared is far greater than the rehabilitation packages offered by CM Mukul Sangma.

The militant 'leader' William Sangma, who was planning to float a new outfit called UANF, managed to escape along with three others, leaving his vehicle behind during a Police check in North Garo Hills District.

March 9

The 'foreign secretary' of GNLA, identified as Briyan R. Marak alias Millam (40) surrendered before Police without any arms at Baghmara in South Garo Hills District. According to Police, Briyan played a key part in forging close ties with the ULFA-I, NDFB and NSCN-U in Bangladesh. Briyan R. Marak's surrender has come as another body blow for the elusive GNLA 'c-in-c' Sohan D. Shira after scores of senior leaders and cadres surrendered in the past one year. The GNLA 'c-in-c' is learnt to be with a handful (approximately 20) cadres and well armed, stated another source in the Police headquarters.

March 10

Meghalaya CM Dr Mukul Sangma refuted claims by the opposition that his Government was yet to pay rehabilitation package to cadres of the disbanded ANVC and its splinter group ANVC-B. While replying during a debate, he informed that rehabilitation packages were disbursed to 363 out of the 367 cadres of the AVCB and 139 cadres of the disbanded ANVC-B. He informed the House that three of the members of the disbanded ANVC members did not avail the rehabilitation package while one expired.

Dr Sangma also informed that out of the 139 members of the disbanded ANVC-B only 11 have been able to take advantage of the rehabilitation package while 53 cadres their cases were sent for minor corrections and 74 cadres were yet to submit details of the bank accounts.

March 14

SFs arrested a militant of a newly formed militant group named ARA, identified as Sengman Ch. Marak alias Miksal alias Bacheng from Alda Cheran village near Songsak in East Garo Hills District. A US-made M-4 automatic rifle with ammunition, which allegedly belonged to William A. Sangma, a militant leader and wanted criminal who had escaped from Mendipathar Police Station in 2014, was recovered from his possession.

SFs arrested a militant of a newly formed militant group named ARA, identified as Sengman Ch. Marak alias Miksal alias Bacheng from Alda Cheran village near Songsak in East Garo Hills District. A US-made M-4 automatic rifle with ammunition, which allegedly belonged to William A. Sangma, a militant leader and wanted criminal who had escaped from Mendipathar Police Station in 2014, was recovered from his possession.

March 18

Police team arrested three extortionists, identified as Tengsrang Ch Momin (22), Mantu Ch Momin (35) and Suhrab Miah (35) from Ampati in South West Garo Hills District. According to the Police they were involved in extorting money from businessmen in the name of GNLA.

March 22

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the security situation in the Northeastern States of India and directed officials to enhance vigil along the international borders in the region. During the hour long meeting, the Home Minister was given a detailed presentation on the prevailing situation in the Northeast, especially militancy in the region. Singh was also told about the steps taken to ensure peace, especially in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur, the four states considered to be affected by insurgency, official sources added.

The MoS for Home Affairs clarified that surrendered militants without any criminal cases pending against them can contest in elections. Kiren Rijiju on the issue further informed that at least 15,314 militants have surrendered under the surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy for the northeastern region. Altogether, 235 individuals are still undergoing rehabilitation under the Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation Scheme as of financial year 2016-17.

March 23

One senior militant belonging to AMEF, identified as Raksim Ch Momin alias Arikam (22) surrendered before Police and Church leaders at Williamnagar in East Garo Hills District. The militant was a cadre of GNLA earlier and later formed the ASAK along with another militant Reding T Sangma. He surrendered in 2014. But he managed to escape from Police custody and joined AMEF in 2015.

March 29

An ASAK militant, identified as Komol Ch Marak, surrendered before BSF authorities at Dobasipara in Tura in West Garo Hills District.

IG of BSF (Meghalaya Frontier) P.K Dubey, during his interaction with media persons, referring to the recent terrorist raid in Sylhet (Bangladesh) said that any incident that happens near the border is always a threat. P.K Dubey said that neo-JMB is acting on the agenda of IS. Reacting to a query if sealing of Indo-Bangla border was a feasible solution, Dubey pointed out that there were plans to seal the Indo-Bangla and Indo-Pakistan borders and since the Supreme Court has given a deadline of 2019 to complete the fencing along the Indo-Bangla border, the BSF is coordinating with the State government in this regard.

April 2

In a fresh attempt to nudge Myanmar to launch a flush out operation against the militants of the Northeast, India reduced the allotment to its Aid to Myanmar programme significantly and allocated INR 225 crore only this Year (2017-18). In the previous year, (i.e. in 2016-17) India sanctioned INR 400 crore to Myanmar but the indifferent attitude of Myanmar over the issue of Northeastern militant groups disappointed India and this time India has clearly shown its displeasure over the issue, claims the report.

April 5

The Meghalaya DGP Swaraj Bir Singh said that fresh induction of SF-10 will add new impetus to the counter-insurgency operations in Garo Hills Districts to wipe out the GNLA. He said, "The SF-10 stand out because of the specialized training modules aimed at combating militancy". "They are highly motivated and can stay long in advanced and remote areas frequented by militants", stated Singh. He referred to the success in virtually wiping out the GNLA militants in four districts of Garo Hills as a glaring illustration. Besides gunning more than a dozen militants and the combat pressure that forced more than 150 GNLA cadres to surrender in the past one year (2016), the DGP further added while the pursuits is on in last remaining bastions of a motley group of 18-20 GNLA cadres, the passing out of the second batch of SF-10 in two months time will provide more thrust on the counter insurgency operations in Garo Hills.

Authoritative security sources in the Union Home Ministry claimed that China has roped in militant groups of North East to launch a proxy war against India. The source further claimed that the recent statement of ULFA-I, on March 28, against the visit of Dalai Lama in Assam was dictated by China. Also, asserting that China was not interested in organizational strength of ULFA-I, the security sources said that China intends to intensify its proxy war against India in the North East through the separatist groups.

April 10

Replying to a question by MP Krupal Balaji Tumane, Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir revealed that insurgent activities in the Northeast along the Indo-Myanmar border saw an increase compared to the Indo-Bangladesh border in the last three years. According to the report, during the period from 2015 to March 31, 2017, terror activities along Indo-Myanmar border increased alarmingly in view of insurgents groups shifting their bases from Bangladesh to territories within Myanmar and China. According to the Minister, during this period, 10 encounters took place in three North Eastern States - Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura along the Indo-Bangladesh border. Even though no casualties were reported in these encounters, a total of 11 suspected rebels were arrested. In Assam along the Indo-Bangla border, three encounters were reported and four militants arrested in 2015. No such incident was however reported in Assam along the Indo-Bangla border in 2016-17. On the other hand, the Indo-Myanmar border has been witnessing steady rise in insurgent activities during the period with as many as 206 encounters reported between militants and security personnel spread across four Northeastern States Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. While 18 security personnel lost their lives, 32 insurgents were killed in these encounters. A total 337 rebels were arrested from the international border in the four States during this period. Among the four Northeastern States sharing Myanmar border, maximum number of encounters took place in Arunachal Pradesh. As many as 81 encounters were reported in that State where three security personnel and 13 militants were killed. During this period, 114 suspected insurgents were arrested. Even in 2017, 13 encounter cases have been reported till March in Arunachal along the border with Myanmar. Union Minister Ahir said the Central Government of India in tandem with Northeastern State Governments has adopted a multi-pronged approach to contain cross-border infiltration. This includes strengthening of border management, multi-tiered deployment along the international border and Line of Control, synergizing intelligence flow to check infiltration and pro-active action against terrorists.

April 18

An angry mob of villagers lynched an unidentified Bangladeshi citizen, who allegedly crossed over to India over the suspicions of criminal activities, near Bamonpara village in Dalu in West Garo Hills District. Despite the strict vigil being by the BSF, the entire stretch of the border in West Garo Hills District has seen sporadic incidents of dacoity committed by Bangladeshi criminals in collusion with Indian thugs.

April 20

The joint secretary, Union Home Ministry, in charge of the North East, Satyendra Garg said that the peace pact that was signed by the State and the Central governments with two disbanded rebel groups, ANVC and ANVC-B, will be reviewed in May or June this year (2017). The peace agreement was signed by the Central Government of India, the State Government, ANVC and ANVC-B in Delhi on September 24, 2014.

Replying to the questions of the reporters Satyendra Garg said that the Central Government of India will not initiate peace talks with any militant outfit at the moment in Meghalaya. He said that for the Centre to come to the talks table, the groups have to first abjure violence and abide by the Constitution. The GNLA, and the HNLC, had earlier expressed their willingness to come forward for peace talks with the Government.

The 'former chairman' Bernard Rimpu N Marak of ANVC-B, in a statement, blamed the State Government for the failure of the 'Agreed Text of Settlement' signed in 2014 and threatened that if it is not implemented by September 24, the agreement will be "burned publicly".

April 22

The annual report of the UMHA for 2016-17 revealed that the security situation in the Northeast had "improved substantially" during the previous year where insurgency-related incidents decreased by more than 15 per cent compared to 2015. "The security situation in the northeastern states, which has remained complex for quite some time because of diverse demands of ethnic groups and various militant outfits, improved substantially in 2016.

The number of insurgency-related incidents in the region decreased by more than 15 per cent compared to 2015," the report said. In 2015, while there were 574 insurgency-related incidents, the corresponding figure in 2016 was 484. The report also said 2016 witnessed the "lowest number" of insurgency incidents since 1997. While casualties among SFs in the region declined from 46 (2015) to 17 (2016), civilian casualties declined in all states except Assam where it increased from 9 in 2015 to 29 in 2016. The report noted that while Sikkim, Mizoram and Tripura had no insurgency-related violence in 2016, there was considerable decline in incidents in Meghalaya (44 per cent) and Nagaland (43 per cent) compared to 2015. In 2016, Manipur accounted for about 48 per cent of total violent incidents in the region and Arunachal Pradesh experienced an increase in violent activities by 38 per cent, primarily on account of violence by the NSCN-K, the report stated. In Assam, insurgency-related violence continued to decline and 2016 witnessed the lowest number of insurgency incidents since 1997, it added. In 2016, Meghalaya witnessed a 44 per cent decline in the number of violent incidents. While there were 123 incidents in 2015, the figure declined to 68 in 2016.

The report stated that the number of civilian casualties decreased by 33 per cent compared to 2015. Further, while 25 militants were killed in 2015, the figure came down to 15 in 2016. Similarly, only 59 militants were arrested in 2016 compared to 121 in 2015. However, there was no casualty on the part of security personnel in 2016.

April 25

A suspected group of GNLA militants involved in an incident of assaulting of a 14-year-old school boy at Dambuk Atong village in South Garo Hills District. The militants were crossing through the Rongara area and met the boy at Dambuk Atong. They started questioning the teenager about the movement of security forces. Unhappy with his replies, the rebels beat up the boy leaving him unconscious. The boy was initially hospitalized at Rongara health centre and later released.

April 27

A group of GNLA militant attacked coal-laden trucks at Tainang area of NH-62 between Siju and Baghmara, of South Garo Hills District. The firing damaged three trucks but no casualty was reported. According to the Police the same group of militant was involved in the incident of the assaulting the 14-year-old school boy at Dambuk Atong village in South Garo Hills District.

Six suspected Bangladeshi nationals abducted a youth, Dajied Syiemlieh, working as a helper of an earth mover, from Nongjri village in South West Khasi Hills District. South West Khasi Hills Superintendent of Police H.G. Lyngdoh said that the Police have launched combing operations in order to trace the youth. "Since yesterday, we have alerted the BSF to seal the international border," Lyngdoh said.

April 30

In a statement, GNLA denied any involvement in the recent attack on coal trucks near Rongara in South Garo Hills District on April 27 and the incident of assaulting a boy at Dambuk near Rongara on April 25.

Terming the agreement with State Government as a total failure, 'chairman' of the now disbanded ANVC-B, Bernard (Rimpu) Marak has threatened to burn copies of the ATS in protest at the Government's apathy. "The ATS is a total failure. Till date its implementation has not been monitored properly by the State Government and is at a standstill ever since it was signed. There has been very little development due to the Government's lack of interest in its implementation", said Bernard in a release.

May 1

Two persons, as Abdul Kalam and Salseng Sangma, were arrested with FICN worth INR 132,000 [INR 2,000 denomination] in West Garo Hills District. All the FICN notes were of "very high quality and only experts could differentiate", said West Garo Hills SP Raghvendra Kumar. Police are looking for other members of the gang. "This is supposedly a big gang of international smugglers who source their FICN from across the international border mostly through Mankachar," he said. The Police said the gang has circulated around INR 3-4 million in Garo Hills. The gang's modus operandi is to mix FICN into the system at local markets and through other businesses.

May 2

DGP, S B Singh, said that, there will be no negotiations with militant outfits in Meghalaya and counter insurgency operations in the Garo Hills against outlawed GNLA would continue. "Our stand is that there will be no negotiations with any group as also made clear by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs joint secretary in charge of North East," Singh said. "GNLA are cornered. They have been driven out of Durama Hills and they are on the run," he said adding there would be no negotiation with the outlawed militant outfits responsible for killing, abduction and terrorizing the western parts of the State since late 2010.

One militant of GNLA, identified as Bikarias N. Marak alias Bilkam Bordoloi (29), surrendered before Police church leaders in North Garo Hills District.

May 5

The HC of Meghalaya refused to cancel the bail granted to GNLA 'chairman' Champion Sangma by the Sessions Court.

BSF DG K.K Sharma said that Bangladesh is no longer a safe haven for Indian insurgent groups. Sharma, who was addressing the media at the 8th annual medical conference at the BSF headquarters in the Shillong, said the few training camps and hideouts set up by Indian rebel groups, like HNLC and ULFA, in the neighbouring country have been destroyed by the Border Guards Bangladesh. On border fencing in the State, Sharma said BSF has taken up the land acquisition issue with the State Government. At the same time, he said the border sentinels will introduce high-end technology to detect intruders. "BSF is in the process of filling up the gaps along the border by technological solutions - installing intruder detection alert system that would go a long way in detecting infiltrators.

May 8

A self-styled "major of the 1996 batch" of the HNLC, Combart Syad, surrendered himself before the SP of East Khasi Hills. Syad (36) is a resident of Karimganj in Assam. He was a trainer in HNLC camps, sources said. Syad was not carrying any arms.

May 10

State Police suspect that the 18-year-old labourer, Dajied Syiemlieh, who was abducted on April 28 from Nongjri in South West Khasi Hills District, may have been taken to Bangladesh by the mixed group of miscreants. DGP SB Singh said the information with the Police is that the worker is in Bangladesh. He said the abduction was the handiwork of a mixed group of miscreants from Bangladesh, who have connections in South West Khasi Hills. The DGP said BSF is coordinating with the Police to rescue the labourer.

May 12

A hardcore GNLA militant, Marus Ch Sangma (26) alias Dotling alias Rajesh, surrendered before the 20th Battalion of BSF based at Dobasipara near Tura in West Garo Hills District. Marus Ch Sangma was also associated with the ANVC-B till 2014. He also had links with trans-border criminals from Bangladesh operating in South Garo Hills District.

SFs are upping their ante as reports indicate that elusive GNLA 'c-in-c' Sohan D. Shira has started recruiting cadres to strengthen his fledging group. In this context, State DGP, S.B Singh said, "After large scale surrender of his cadres and commanders he was left with around 20 men. He is desperate to strengthen his group and is trying to recruit and arm more cadres but our security teams are also on the lookout for him". Police sources said Sohan Shira has moved his operations from the Durama Hills across Williamnagar into the densely forested area of Rongsu and the Balpakram National Park region of South Garo Hills to avoid detection by SFs.

The Minister in charge of District Council Affairs, Prestone Tynsong, said the Centre is in the process of amending the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution so that the number of members in the GHADC can be increased to 40. The GHADC currently has 30 members. "We are hopeful that the Union Cabinet will soon decide on the matter after which it will be taken to Parliament," he said here.

May 15

The BSF has stepped up its vigil along the unfenced boundaries in East Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills. According to an unnamed BSF official the tightening of security follows a complaint by the Lawbah border area circle of the KSU. The KSU unit had complained to the DIG and area commandant of BSF about "rampant infiltration of Bangladeshi immigrants" through Shella, Nongtrai and Ryngkhu areas. BSF officials said some Indian villagers are employing Bangladeshi workers in betel nut plantation and farming. They stressed on the need for speeding up border fencing to curb infiltration and smuggling of contraband. A large area of the Indo-Bangla border in Meghalaya is yet to be fenced due to opposition from the Co-ordination Committee on International Border and local residents who are demanding that the fencing be undertaken from zero line and not 150 yards inside the Indian Territory.

May 16

Reviewing the security situation in the Northeast with chief secretaries and DGPs of the region in New Delhi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh described religious radicalisation as a serious security threat and said if not checked in time; it could lead to terrorism. He also expressed concern over the proliferation of illegal arms in the region and asked the Police chiefs to launch organised campaigns against arms smugglers.

May 27

Suspected KSU activists set ablaze heavy machineries, at Ronghana village in Ri-Bhoi District and also assaulted labourers engaged in the ongoing Northeast Frontier Railway project. Four earthmovers, seven dumpers and a vibrator machine were badly damaged during the incident. Around 10 Police personnel were also injured. Following the incident Police arrested two 'leaders' of KSU, 'president' Ferdynald Kharkamni (North Khasi Hills) and 'assistant secretary' Son Nongkhlaw (central body).

In addition, Petrol bombs were hurled at vehicles in several pockets of the Shillong city in East Khasi Hills. A government vehicle belonging to District Sericulture Officer R.B Lyngwa of Ri Bhoi was attacked with a petrol bomb near Mahari fuel station. The incident was fallout of the violent protests against an ongoing railway project in the District. Petrol bombs were also hurled in various localities, including Laban, Nongmynsong, Rynjah and Lumdiengjri, starting from 9 pm till wee hours of May 28.

May 28

Ri Bhoi Deputy Commissioner CP Gotmare said that appropriate legal action will be taken against KSU volunteers involved in the arson and vandalism incident on May 27. The district administration also imposed section 144 Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in Ri Bhoi prohibiting assembly of more than five persons. Educational institutions were exempted from the order. The order also prohibits carrying of weapons by the public.

May 29

A fresh case of arson was reported from Jeep Stand in Qualapatty of Shillong city in East Khasi Hills District. Police said a group of miscreants hurled a petrol bomb (Molotov cocktail) at a tobacco shop, belonging to Santosh Kumar Jalewa, partially damaging the shop. However no injury was reported, Police added.

A case of petrol bomb (Molotov cocktail) attack on a truck was reported in Umsning in Ri Bhoi District. However, the damage was minimal as the vehicle was covered with wet plastic.

Ri Bhoi District Police arrested three more KSU activists in connection with the recent attack at the railway construction site at Byrnihat. The arrested persons have been identified as Johny Nongrum, Jayan Sylliang and Sabarthani alias Babloo Lyngdoh.

East Khasi Hills Police have called in additional forces from different Districts to maintain law and order in the capital city. District SP Davis Marak said that additional forces have already started coming and the SOT personnel deployed in other districts have also been asked to return to Shillong. The police have also stepped up vigil on roads in the whole of Ri Bhoi District.

The KSU has threatened to continue its protest if the Government does not stop the railway project in Byrnihat. The pressure group also demanded that its leaders and members, who were arrested after the violent protest in Ri Bhoi on May 27, be released. KSU 'president' Lambokstarwell Marngar said that the Government has failed to come up with effective laws to prevent influx of "outsiders" into the State. "We have all along maintained a strong stand that it is only when such laws are in place, we will be ready to talk on whether to welcome the railway project," said Marngar.

May 31-June 1

Several incidents cases of arson and Molotov cocktail attacks suspected to be linked to the ongoing protest against the extension of Railways to the State were reported from different parts of the State, including Shillong city in East Khasi Hills District.

Miscreants threw a Molotov cocktail at a building, owned by Minoli Borman, at Lumshyiap in Nongmynsong in East Khasi Hills District around 8pm on May 31. No damage was reported.

After some time, a Molotov cocktail was hurled at a police requisition bus (ML-05P-8518) at Lailad in Nongmynsong in East Khasi Hills District. The vehicle was partially damaged.

Later around 9 pm, another Molotov cocktail hurling was reported from Lower Jail Road in East Khasi Hills District.

Around 11.30pm, a vehicle (MH14 Y 9717) belonging to Ashish Gundal caught fire at the parking lot of Orchid Resort of Umiam in Ri Bhoi District. The vehicle was partially damaged.

Further, unidentified miscreants on June 1 tried to attack the office of the Youth Congress at Pahamsohthri village in Ri Bhoi District. Incessant rain minimized the damage.

Meanwhile, unidentified miscreants pelted stones at a Tura-bound vehicle carrying The Shillong Times newspapers on June 1 night causing partial damage to the vehicle and minor injuries to the driver in Ri Bhoi District. The vehicle was attacked at a place between Nongpoh and Umsning.

June 1

Forest and Environment Minister Prestone Tynsong said that the State Government is open to dialogues with pressure groups to clear the doubts over measures taken to address the problem of influx in the context of protest against railway. Tynsong also appealed to the KSU to stop violence and any sort of disturbance. With protests continuing against the railway project in the State, Tynsong said the Government is on the job of setting up of entry and exit points. He, however, admitted that there are hurdles in land acquisition.

The Khasi Students' Union, North Khasi Hills appealed to the public of Ri Bhoi District not to cooperate in the Ri Bhoi silver jubilee celebrations to be held next week.

Unidentified miscreants set ablaze a Meg Mini Tea Factory of the State Horticulture Department at Lumnongrim Dewlieh in Umsning of Ri Bhoi District causing huge financial losses.

The UMHA has said that there has been a sharp decline in violence, extortion and attacks on security forces in the Northeast in the last three years. As per data available with the UMHA, only 484 such incidents were reported in 2016 as compared to 1,025 in 2012 and 732 in 2013. It further noted that the number of abductions have come down from 329 in 2012 and 307 in 2013 to 168 in 2016. Only 28 such cases were registered till March this year. However, the number of security personnel killed in Manipur shows an upward trend with 24 being killed in 2015 and 11 in 2016 as compared to 8 and 5 deaths in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

The NDFB-IKS suffered a setback with more than 900 cadres being arrested and nearly 55 being killed in security operations, according to the UMHA note. The number of such incidents in Assam jumped to 50 in 2016 as compared to 21 in 2013, the UMHA note stated.

The number of militants surrendering saw a decline with 267 such surrenders taking place in 2016 as compared to 1,161 in 2012, as per official data. Arms recovery was not significant despite a crackdown as 698 arms were recovered in 2016 as compared to 1,856 in 2012.

As many as 1,202 militants were arrested in 2016 as compared to 2,145 in 2012. Of this, the highest number of arrests in 2016 has been made in Manipur (518) and Assam (366) while maximum abduction cases were reported from Nagaland (51) and Meghalaya (52).

June 2

A group of suspected cattle smugglers attacked a BSF trooper, Krishna Murthy, when he tried to stop them, at the Hatimara Border Outpost under Mahendraganj Police Station of South West Garo Hills District.

State Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh said that the government is willing to talk to the KSU provided that violence is stopped. Speaking to reporters, Lyngdoh said the government is open to dialogue, but not under the present condition of arson and destruction to public property. "Any protest should be peaceful and the government will consider taking to the group only in a conducive atmosphere and not with violent activities, including vandalism," Lyngdoh said. To a question on the release of arrested KSU leaders, the Home Minister said the government cannot interfere in court matters.

June 3

UHM Rajnath Singh said that year 2016 witnessed the lowest number of insurgency-related incidents in last 20 years. "The year 2016 witnessed the lowest insurgency incidents in last 20 years. Such incidents reduced from 824 in 2014 to 484 in 2016. The number of incidents was 574 in 2015, which was the lowest since 1997, and further reduced in 2016. The number of civilian casualties in Northeast has also come down drastically in the last three years," said UHM Singh in New Delhi. "Sustained security initiatives during the last three years have brought peace and stability to the North-eastern region of the country after decades of insurgency," Singh added.

Unidentified miscreants hurled a petrol bomb (Molotov cocktail) at Forest Check Gate, 9th Mile, in Ri Bhoi District. No damage was reported. Police arrested the 'president' of KSU Nongthymmai circle, Eric Nongkynrih was in connection with the May 28 petrol bomb attack on Rynjah Police Station. Police said that interrogation is on to get more details on the involvement of the KSU leader.

The entire Ri Bhoi District is under security cover following cases of arson reported from different places since last week. Ri Bhoi SP R.P Singh said that one more company of CRPF has been brought into the District and altogether two companies have been deployed in the District, besides local Police force. Violence erupted in the District after a group of KSU activists allegedly attacked the railway construction site in Byrnihat last week.

June 4

KSU 'leaders' Ferdynald Kharkamni and Sonstar Nongkhlaw, who were arrested last week for violent protests against the ongoing railway project, were sent to 14-day judicial custody after they were produced in the Ri Bhoi District court of Chief Judicial Magistrate.

The disbanded ANVC-B, in a statement, rejected the Meghalaya State Government's claim of providing rehabilitation package to 18 of its former cadres.

June 5

Two militants of HNLC, identified as Shibormi Suchen and Da E Miki Shadong, surrendered before the East Khasi Hills District Police. According to the Police both the surrendered cadres joined HNLC in June 2016 and went to Bangladesh for training. Police arrested three members of KSU, identified as Sabir Jyrwa (31), Phrang Warjri (26) and Eric Nongkynrih, from East Khasi Hills District in connection with the recent cases of arson.

June 7

Chinese agencies are trying to launch a proxy war with India by using the militant groups of the North East region and some of these plans came to light after a militant leader of ULFA-I, named Ron Asom surrendered recently. Police sources further said that the inputs available with the security agencies indicate that the major militant groups of the region came into a common platform only after pressure from the Chinese agencies and now they have started operating together.

June 9

Two unidentified militants of GNLA were killed in an encounter with the Police in a forest between Agitchak and Jogisil villages of Shallang area in West Khasi Hills District. According to the Police, four other militants sustained bullet injuries but they managed to escape. A Chinese assault rifle and a single barrel shot gun were also recovered from the encounter site.

June 12

In a statement, the HNLC threatened to back the agitation against the railway project in Ri Bhoi District by providing IEDs to the KSU. The militant group also demanded release of the KSU members who are in prison in connection with the May 27 violence at the project site in the District.

Khango Konyak, who is the new 'chairman' of the NSCN-K, is likely to be the head of the UNLFW, which is an umbrella organisation of the militant groups of North East. Earlier it was expected that Paresh Baruah, the 'chief' of ULFA-I might be the head of the UNLFW. But dismissing speculations about his taking over charge of the UNLFW, Paresh Barua has backed the idea of 'next-generation leaders' coming forward to take charge after the demise of NSCN-K 'chief' SS Khaplang.

June 13

The Central Government of India and the State Government has ruled out negotiations with HNLC and GNLA as they still believe in violence. Stating about the issue, DGP S.B Singh said that during the May 16 meeting with central officials in Delhi, it was made known to the State Government that the Centre is not keen to talk to the militant groups due to their violent stand. Another Home Department official said that the stand of both the Centre and the State is that they will not hold talks with the groups which have been declared banned and terrorist organisations by the Centre.

With the HNLC threatening to arm KSU activists with IEDs in the wake of crackdown on the arsonists, the State Police have started zeroing in on the activities of HNLC members and their sympathisers.

June 14 The Police arrested two members of KSU from Mawlai in East Khasi Hills District for allegedly hurling a petrol bomb at the residents of one non-Khasi person at Forest Colony, Golf Links on June 13 night. The petrol bomb hurled at the resident did not explode and there was no damage to property or any person. According to the Police another member of KSU was also involved in the incident, but he managed to escape.
June 15

Unidentified assailants hurled a petrol bomb at a hardware shop of Mawlonghat area in East Khasi Hills District. However, no damage was reported.

Police arrested one KSU member identified as Allan Khyllait for setting a vehicle on fire at Mawiong Rim on June 14.

CM Mukul Sangma said that the Government is not interested to sit for talks with KSU until the students' body abjures violence. Mr Sangma further informed that he had ordered investigating agencies to probe into possible nexus between KSU and HNLC.

CM Mukul Sangma said that signing peace agreements with militant organisations of North East by Central Government of India without State leaders' knowledge is one of the mistakes that shouldn't be repeated. According to CM, signing of peace agreement in 2014 with ANVC by Central Government of India, without the knowledge of State leaders in Meghalaya, was a mistake for the State.

A woman, identified as Supriya D. Momin (22) was arrested by Police for her alleged links with GNLA militant from North Garo Hills District.

June 16

Two petrol bombs were hurled by unidentified assailants in a residential area on Thana road of Shillong Town in East Khasi Hills District. However, no injury and damage was reported so far.

One unidentified KSU member was arrested by Police while four managed to flee while intending to commit arson in an area of Shillong.

The FKJGP, HNYF and the Ri Bhoi Youth Federation extended their support to the KSU which is protesting against a railway project and asked the Meghalaya Government to put on hold works for the Tetelia-Byrnihat line in the State.

June 18

The house belonging to Francis Dkhar at Langkyrding of Nongmynsong in East Khasi Hills District was partially damaged when arsonists hurled a petrol bomb. Police suspects that supporters of KSU who are protesting against the railway line may be involved in the incident.

June 19

Police arrested a linkman and gun runner of ULFA-I and GNLA, identified as Nangsem Marak (36), from Tatolgre village in Bajengdoba in North Garo Hills District. Police also recovered an AK assault rifle, two country-made pistols and three shotguns, mobile phones and a digital camera from the arrestee.

A Police source said that operation against GNLA militant had been stalled in the state due to the bad weather. Police also said that the 'c-in-c' of the GNLA, Sohan D Shira, had left with only a few cadres but he was trying to revive his group. On June 19, informing about the current status about the successful operations against the militants in the State, former DGP Rajiv Mehta, who took over as the government security adviser also said, "The GNLA cadres are still there and our inspired men should make every efforts to neutralize them before they making any attempt to regroup."

June 22

Six militants from Assam based ULFA-I and NDFB-IKS have 'crossed over' from Bangladesh into the Dalu's Killapara border crossing of West Garo Hills District and surrendered. The identities of the surrendered militants were not revealed reportedly for 'operational' purposes. The 'top secret operation' was orchestrated by Police from neighbouring Assam.

June 23

Police rescued an abducted businessman, identified as Aktar Ali, after a gun battle with the abductors from an area of South Garo Hills District. The person was abducted at gunpoint by five armed men on June 22 from his home in Chokpot town of South Garo Hills District. The identity of the group is yet to be ascertained although Police doubt it to be the handiwork of the GNLA militant.

SFs arrested five militants of NDFB-IKS and one militant of ULFA-I from Indo-Bangladesh border area near Dawki in West Jaintia Hills District. According to the sources, huge cache of arms and ammunition were also recovered from the arrested militants.

June 25

In a case of arson, four persons, three of whom are minors, have sustained burn injuries. The incident occurred at Lad Shyiap in East Khasi Hills District when two assailants on a two-wheeler lobbed a petrol bomb at a ration shop run by a person named Shyam Singh.

June 27

A GNLA militant, identified as Ading Ch Marak alias Lukseng Ch Marak, was killed by SFs in an early morning raid on the outfit's camp inside the forests of the Chitmang hills in South Garo Hills District. It was suspected that the 'c-in-c' of GNLA, Sohan D. Shira was hiding in the camp but he managed to escape and the killed militant was the 'bodyguard' of Shira. An AK-56 assault rifle, ammunition, magazines, mobile phones, remote controls and detonators, a laptop, GNLA seals and flags were also recovered from the busted camp.

June 29

The Police forces of various States of the Northeast Indian region may soon coalesce under an umbrella organisation to improve coordination and efficiency. A suggestion in this regard was reportedly made by Assam's DGP, Mukesh Sahay, at the 24th conference of DGs and IGs of Police of the Northeast region held in Guwahati on June 29. It was attended by Satyendra Garg, a Joint Secretary (Northeast) in the UMHA. Sahay said if the militants can have an umbrella organisation, the Police too can have it. He said it would ensure better coordination among the Police forces of the Northeast region. "Like one nation one tax, we can have one NE one NE police. We need to work on making this concept, encouraged by the Prime Minister, possible. We are eagerly looking forward to your recommendations on Nepol," Assam Chief Secretary Vinod Kumar Pipersenia said. Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal and DGP Mukesh Sahay also seconded the idea of 'Nepol'.

June 30

The former 'chairman' of ANVC-B, Bernard N Marak urged the State Government to pay INR 2.5 lakh rehabilitation package to each cadre as 'promised' by former Special Director General of Police S.K. Jain.

July 6

A militant of GNLA, identified as Mustan R. Sangma (22), surrendered before the Police in the presence of family members and Church leaders in East Garo Hills. However, he did not bring any weapon with him.

July 8

Suspected Bangladeshi miscreants abducted a person, Ricky Marwein (34), from Nongjri area of South West Khasi Hills District. SP, H.G. Lyngdoh said that Marwein is a gatekeeper of the Hashah clan at Umsur village. A group of about seven miscreants barged into his room at night with arms and iron rods and kidnapped him, said Lyngdoh. "They even took away INR 5,000-6,000 in cash and a two-wheeler," the SP added.

Police are keeping a close watch on the actions of GNLA militants ahead of the Assembly polls scheduled for early next year. A senior police official said that the security forces are trying to prevent any fresh recruitment to the militant outfit and at the same time the Government is encouraging the GNLA cadres to surrender.

July 14

India has yet again underscored the need to flush out the Northeast-based militants operating from Myanmar. Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Defence Services, Senior General U Min Aung Hliang is currently touring India and he called on PM Narendra Modi and several other ministers in New Delhi. He also called on Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, besides Army chief General Vipin Rawat. According to official sources, the visiting Senior General briefed the PM about bilateral defence and security cooperation. The Prime Minister appreciated the close cooperation between the armed forces of India and Myanmar.

July 15

The BGB has denied the presence of North East-based militant camps in the country. Addressing a press conference in Shillong after the culmination of the talks with the BSF officials, BGB Additional Director General (North East region) Mohammad Zahid Hasan said Bangladesh has zero tolerance towards anti-social elements and the country's leadership maintains a tough stand against insurgent groups. "These (presence of insurgent camps) are mere perceptions… We will firmly act if there is any," Zahid said. BSF had raised the issue of presence of outfits like GNLA, ULFA-I and HNLC in Bangladesh territory and sought stringent action against them. Earlier, IG of BSF (Meghalaya frontier) PK Dubey reiterated that there are no regulated militant camps in Bangladesh which existed 10-15 years back and there is coordinated action between the border sentinels of the two countries.

July 17

The SC issued notice to GNLA 'chairman' Champion Sangma over a bail application moved by his counsel for the pending Pynursla case. SC lawyer and counsel for the State Government Ranjan Mukherjee said informed that more than 22 cases are pending against Champion out of which he is yet to secure bail in four cases.

July 19

The State Government has decided to suggest the Indian Railway authorities to put the railway project on hold to dispel all kinds of mistrust and misgiving before resumption of work. Speaking to reporters after a meeting with the 13-Non- NGOs, the CM Mukul Sangma said, "We will be indicating to the railways to hold on the work and resume as soon as comprehensive measures are put in place which will be very soon."

July 24

SF-10 Commandos recovered an AK-47 rifle and 26 bullets belonging to the GNLA after a pitched gun battle with the militants at Rongjeng area in East Garo Hills. There were no casualties. SF-10 personals were undertaking a search operation in the area, following intelligence inputs about presence of the rebels, when they spotted around eight armed rebels near a stream outside the village of Chambildam, which falls under the jurisdiction of Rongjeng police station, around 8 am. The rebels opened fire leading to a brief exchange before they escaped.

July 25

State Chief Secretary Y. Tsering said that there will be no let-up in operations against militants in Garo Hills region. With the sustained operations, the situation has improved in Garo Hills but the government will not be complacent, Tsering said. He also appreciated the efforts of DGP SB Singh and his team in maintaining law and order, especially in the Garo Hills region. To a question, the chief secretary said the issues related to the rehabilitation of surrendered militants are under the examination of the department concerned.

July 31

A GNLA militant, Hembone T. Sangma, surrendered before Superintendent of Police South Garo Hills Abraham T. Sangma.

August 1

SFs killed a GNLA militant during an encounter at Gare Ringdi village in South Garo Hills District. Another two rebels were injured but managed to escape. SFs recovered one pistol along with live ammunitions, GNLA demand notes, GNLA seals, diaries and six mobile phones from the spot.

Suspected GNLA militants had brutally beaten up two men at Halwa Bilda village in South Garo Hills District. GNLA militants suspected the duo as police informers.

August 2

Suspected GNLA militants killed a 53 year old farmer in South Garo Hills District. South Garo Hills Superintendent of Police Abraham T. Sangma said that four GNLA militants went to Olget R. Marak's house at Oripur, Dambuk Aga, in South Garo Hills, around 2am.

Chief Security Advisor to the Government of Meghalaya, Rajiv Mehta has asserted that GNLA is well past its prime and it is just a matter of time before it is totally obliterated by security forces. Mehta also tried to downplay the "super cop" tag, stating that he was merely sharing his expertise to handle the insurgency problem in Garo Hills. The second batch of Meghalaya Police's SF-10 commando force is scheduled to a pass out on August 4.

GHSMC submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding creation of Garoland, to be carved out of tribal Garo inhabited areas in Meghalaya and Assam. Stating that Garo people were unanimously demanding creation of Garoland state, contiguous to state of Assam and Khasi Hills for Garo people, the GSHMC said, "We demand Garoland state to include original lands inhabiting by Garo people in Assam and Khasi Hills presently under Meghalaya."

August 4

SF-10 with 152 commandos and a Unit of 50 recruits in Law and Order Riot Control were formally inducted after the passing out parade at APTC in Mawiong. CM Mukul Sangma witnessed the parade as the chief guest. On the occasion, CM Sangma said that there will be continuous recruitment in the Police force and about 2,751 vacancies are to be filled.

CM Mukul Sangma said that the rehabilitation package meant for disbanded groups is under examination. Speaking to mediapersons, Sangma said, "There are certain technicalities which need to be addressed and in the process there have been delays. These aspects have been shared with the police headquarters." The statement came a day after the ANVC-B accused the State Government of intentionally delaying the rehabilitation package for them.

August 7

GNLA's senior commander and third in the hierarchy of the outfit, Baltush N Marak, surrendered at Chokpot in South Garo Hills. Baltush N Marak was the 'area commander' in the coal-belt of Nangalbibra in South Garo Hills District and West Khasi Hills District.

GNLA 'commander-in-chief', Sohan D Shira, who fled to Bangladesh in June, has returned to Garo Hills. A series of setbacks at the hands of Meghalaya police commandos in the recent weeks has pushed GNLA to the corner. Sohan was forced to flee into neighbouring Bangladesh following an encounter at Rongsu in South Garo Hills on June 27 during which his personal bodyguard, Lukseng Ch Marak, was killed and the elusive rebel leader was saved by a whisker.

The Union Government extended the disturbed area under the AFSPA for one more month, citing various violent activities by insurgent groups ULFA, NDFB, and others. "The Union Home Ministry also declared Meghalaya's border areas adjoining Assam consisting 20 kilometre belt, and three districts in Arunachal Pradesh as "disturbed" under the AFSPA for two more months with effect from August 3 to September 30. In separate gazette notifications, the Home Ministry said entire Assam has been declared "disturbed" under the AFSPA with effect from August 3 till August 31. The three districts of Arunachal Pradesh - Tirap, Changlang and Longding - and areas falling within the jurisdiction of 14 Police Stations in nine other Districts of the State were also declared as 'disturbed' with effect from August 4 to September 30. The 14 Police Stations fall under the Districts of Papumpare, West Siang, East Siang, Lower Dibang Valley, East Kameng, West Kameng, Namsai, Lohit and Lower Subansiri.

The Grand Council of Chiefs of Meghalaya will be meeting to demand the inclusion of the Instrument of Accession and Annexed Agreement in the Constitution as in the case of Jammu & Kashmir. The Grand council consists of the Federation of Khasi States and various other traditional bodies Will also to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the signing of accession agreement.

August 10

Seven armed militant formations called a 12 hour shut down strike on August 15, in the entire North East India, which they term as WESEA to ban celebration of Indian Independence Day. The total ban on the celebration of Indian Independence Day was made in a joint statement signed by 'publicity secretary', HNLC, Ksh Laba Meitei, 'president', KCP, Jiban Singh Koch, 'chairman', KLO, N.Oken, 'chairman', KYKL, B..R Ferengga, 'general secretary', NDFB-S, Sengphui Borok, 'organizing secretary', NLFT and J K Lijang, 'chairman', PDCK.

August 16

A group of GNLA militants hiding in a village managed to escape following a gun battle with SF-10 commandos in West Khasi Hills District. The commandos launched a search operation after they received intelligence inputs about the rebels hiding at Dymmit village, sources in SF-10 and Rongkhugre VDP said. However, when the commandos came near the hideout, the militant on guard saw them and alerted others. The rebels then opened fire and the commandos fired back in retaliation. But the militants managed to escape.

August 17

A group of armed GNLA cadres assaulted five persons in Dymmit village a West Khasi Hills District. This comes a day after SF-10 commandos busted a hideout.

August 20

Security experts believe that recent reports of GNLA cadres torturing individuals are due to their frustration resulting from lack of co-operation on the part of the villagers. There were two instances in South Garo Hills and West Khasi Hills Districts where villagers were tortured after they were accused of being Police informers. Rejecting the militants' claims, a senior Police official overseeing counter insurgency operations in the area said, "Can they prove that those people they had beaten up are police informers?"

The Police official said that GNLA cadres numbering around 20 have been shunting between the tough terrains of South Garo Hills and West Khasi Hills in recent months. GNLA's dreaded self-styled 'commander-in-chief' Sohan D Shira, along with a well armed group numbering around eight, is understood to be within the periphery of the thick jungles bordering the two Districts. While many of the top GNLA cadres have either surrendered or have been killed in exchange of fire with SFs, Shira continues to be elusive. Known for his notoriety since his days with the ANVC, Shira was an 'area commander' of the now disbanded organisation in the 1990s, before he formed the GNLA.

August 22

Police recovered an UAV and an inflatable boat among other things from a hideout of the GNLA at Riangdim Nengdawak forest in West Khasi Hills District. "The recovery is unique this time, we are examining the recovered items to know the motive of the militants," DGP SB Singh said. The DGP further said the UAV appears to be made in China. Besides the inflatable boat and drone, the search team found 82 rounds AK ammunition, three life jackets, two claymore mines, one tent and a magazine pouch.

August 23

A GNLA cadre, Sengku M Momin (21), surrendered to Police at Adokgre anti-dacoity camp in North Garo Hills District. Police said that Sengku was with GNLA 'commander-in-chief 'Sohan D Shira at Wagara and ULFA-I militant Manoj Rabha alias Drishti Rajkhowa during the Dymmit encounter on August 16. Sengku, who worked as a courier, further revealed that GNLA cadres had come to Adokgre village to recruit cadres 15 days before the Dymmit encounter.

August 24

GNLA 'commander-in-chief' Sohan D Shira is forcing young men to join the outfit to strengthen his 'foot soldiers' group reveled a surrendered GNLA militant.

A proposal has been sent to the Union Government for aerial manning of two BoP in West Jaintia Hills District by the BSF. BSF Inspector General (IG- Meghalaya) P.K. Dubey said since Hingaria and Huroi border outposts in Jaintia Hills are inaccessible by land, a proposal was sent to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) for providing assistance for aerial manning."We are looking at aerial assistance to the personnel posted in these BOPs by helicopters which can provide ration and other materials as airdropping of essential things save time," Dubey said.

August 30

Police recovered a large quantity of arms and ammunition belonging to GNLA militants from at Riangdem - Nengdawak and Wakphangram jungle in West Khasi Hills District. During the search, Police recovered weapons including one INSAS rifle, 86 AK live ammunition, and 1 kg of gelatin sticks from the area. Also, AK 47 ammunition, a hand grenade, ten SBBL ammunition, one magazine pouch and one camouflage pant were recovered from the compound of a house at Wakphangram.

September 2

The Supreme Court dismissed the special leave petition moved by the Meghalaya Government for cancellation of bail granted to GNLA 'chairman' Champion Sangma by the Meghalaya High Court since the hearing in the case will be held on September 4 at the Sessions Court, Shillong.

September 10

Two Over Ground Workers of GNLA, identified as Gonam Ch Momin (19) and Walseng T Sangma (24), surrendered at Williamnagar Police Station in East Garo Hills District. Police said that they worked with GNLA since November 2015.

September 11

Police recovered firearms and ammunition from a GNLA hideout after an encounter in the forests near Keni Badimagre village of Chokpot in South Garo Hills District. SP, Abraham T Sangma said there were around 14 militants but it could not be confirmed whether GNLA 'commander-in-chief' Sohan D Shira was with them. However, villagers claimed to have seen as many as 21 armed men before the encounter. The Police recovered an AK 47, three magazines, 90 rounds of AK ammunition, a LMG magazine, SMG ammunition and GNLA flag, besides some incriminating documents.

September 13

BSF in the Meghalaya frontier has increased its surveillance and patrolling along the international border following the exodus of Rohingyas from Myanmar to Bangladesh

September 14

Police recovered two IED s from the Kenibadima village in South Garo Hills District

September 18

Unidentified armed men abducted the driver of an excavator, identified as Robin Rabha (27), from Mellim village in West Garo Hills.

September 21

The East Khasi Hills District Police is concerned about HNLC having links with other banned outfits of Assam. Earlier, SFs busted a hideout of the Meghalaya based HNLC and arrested five militants at multiple locations in West Karbi Anglong District on September 18-19.

September 24

Two close aides of the outfit's chief, Sohan D Shira, of the GNLA, surrendered before the acting SP, Ringrang TG Momin, with arms at Williamnagar in East Garo Hills District. East Garo Hills Police said the duos from the 6th batch of the outfit have been identified as Chanchan Ch Momin alias Gonggaram alias Teenfoot (22) of Rapdikgre and Challang C Marak alias Rongpak (21) of Adugre. A pistol and a revolver were handed over to the Police. During interrogation, the duo said they were unable to bear the hardships posed by continued Police operations and were forced to surrender. They also told Police that the outfit's cadres were facing financial crunch as the money collected was being managed by GNLA 'chief' Sohan alone.

September 27

A GNLA cadre, identified as Tengrak M Sangma alias Adram, who was part of the 6th batch of recruits was surrendered without arms before East Garo Hills Police. SP of East Garo Hills, RTG Momin informed that Tengrak M Sangma gave himself up at Williamnagar. Tengrak M Sangma had joined the militant outfit in 2014.

September 30

A close aide of the GNLA 'chief' Sohan D Shira, was arrested from remote Dosogre village in South Garo Hills District. Acting on specific information, a special team was deputed to the village and after conducting raids, the cadre identified as Bande Ch Marak alias Border was arrested. A close aide of Sohan since he joined in 2012, Bande was present during the last two encounters with Police in the District although he managed to escape during an encounter in Rongsu two months ago, SP, Abraham Sangma said. According to preliminary investigation, Bande was part of the group that ambushed Police personnel a few years ago where several Policemen had been killed both at Kolapara and Panda ambushes, the SP added.

October 2

Police recovered sophisticated arms along with ammunition from the forest in Dosogre Chipitgittim area of South Garo Hills District. The GNLA cadre, Bande Ch Marak who was arrested on September 29 from South Garo Hills District led to the recovery of arms and ammunition which the GNLA cadre had hidden in the village from where he was arrested.

October 3

A 17-year-old cadre of HNLC from Lakadong village in East Jaintia Hills District surrendered without arms before Meghalaya Police.

Surrendered GNLA cadres under the banner, UPWS, expressed concern over the delay in providing rehabilitation packages to cadres even after more than a year.

UMHA has brought down the range of 'disturbed area' under the controversial Armed Forces [Special Powers] Act (AFSPA) 1958 in Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh following improvement in the law and order situation.

October 5

Surrendered ANVC-B cadres who are yet to receive their rehabilitation package have expressed disappointment over the Meghalaya Government's delay to act on the matter. Pointing out that those cadres who are yet to receive the package are finding it difficult to start a new life, they urged the government to speed up the process of releasing the same. The cadres have also sought the intervention of NGO and Church leaders on the matter.

October 7

Five ULFA-I and GNLA militants were arrested during an operation carried out recently by Meghalaya and Assam Police. The two ULFA-I militants were identified as Simanta Rabha and Kusha Rabha of Rongjuli area of Goalpara District and were arrested from the same area. The GNLA cadres are Pillar Sangma, Philip Sangma and Nobin Sangma, the trio was arrested from Williamnagar in East Garo Hills. The modus operandi was such that GNLA Overground Workers would identify potential victims, in this case coal dealers and other businessmen, in the Nangalbibra-Jadigittim coal region of South Garo Hills and they were directed to deliver the money in Assam.

October 8

GNLA 'commander-in-chief' Sohan D Shira is banking on his ally, the ULFA-I to fill the void left by his men who deserted him in large numbers to surrender. ULFA's 'deputy commander-in-chief' Manoj Rabha aliasDristiRajkhowa is reportedly trying to import ULFA cadres from neighbouring Assam and even Bangladesh to strengthen the group. According to Meghalaya police, as many as three cadres based in Bangladesh have crossed over and joined the ULFA ranks in GNLA hideouts.

October 10

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has set a deadline to complete the fencing of India-Bangladesh border by March 2019. Disclosing this, a top unnamed Government official said on October 11 that the government has sanctioned the order to fence 3,326 Kilometre (km) of the 4,096 km long India-Bangladesh border.

October 15

The State Government will keep vigil in the run-up to the Assembly polls in the wake of recent reports of ULFA-I gaining ground in Garo Hills with the support of GNLA. Chief Secretary Y Tsering said though Police have control of law and order in Garo Hills, the Assam-based militant groups, especially ULFA-I, may become more active during the polls.

October 25

The BSF Meghalaya Frontier IG P.K. Dubey said that fencing was necessary for the security of border residents. "In areas where fencing has been completed, we have been able to put a more effective check on smuggling and militancy. It (fencing) will help in border surveillance," he said. Informing that about 90km of unfenced areas remain in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills, Dubey said around INR 110 crore has been deposited with the Meghalaya Government for the purpose of acquiring land for fencing.

Surrendered militants belonging to the GNLA, ANVC-B, AMEF, LAEF and others from North Garo Hills came together under the banner of the A'chik Welfare Organisation (AWA) and organised a one day awareness campaign on environment at Chirimdare under Mendipathar Police Station of North Garo Hills District. Under the new initiative, the members of AWA along with the villagers of Chirimdare plan to start joint efforts of plantation programmes beginning from the first week of June next year till their dream of 'clean and green' is achieved.

November 1

According to a statistics available with the UMHA, as many as 37 persons including nine SFs personnel were killed in the insurgency related violence in the Northeast region over the last seven months. Official statistics revealed that 28 civilians and nine security personnel were killed in 204 insurgency related violence across the Northeastern States. As many as 57 persons were also abducted this year up to July 31st.

SFs are on their toes following reports of recruitment of youth by the insurgent outfits in the landlocked Northeastern States.

November 4

The HNLC 'publicity secretary' Saiñkupar Nongtraw stated that it was keeping a low profile as it was preparing implement its hit list that is topped by the incumbent Chief Minister (CM), Mukul Sangma. "The CM is also included into the top hit list. In case, if he loses the 2018 upcoming legislative assembly elections he shall become very vulnerable and it will be easy for us to hunt him down..

November 6

Director General of Police SB Singh asked the State intelligence agencies to assess the threat perception to Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and Cabinet Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh following the statement by militant group HNLC.

November 8

Assam and Meghalaya Police in a joint operation arrested five militants, including three militants of GNLA and two from TLA from Salang area in East Jaintia Hills District. The five arrested were identified as 'commander' Motilal Deori, Sourav Deka (TLA cadre), Khasang .A. Marak (GNLA), Smart .A. Marak (GNLA) and Arween .A. Marak (linkmen GNLA). The 'commander' of TLA, Motilal Deori had issued an extortion note to Tiwa Autonomous Council (TAC), Chief Executive Member (CEM) Paban Manta demanding INR 5 million.

November 12

Suspected GNLA militants abducted a Nokma (traditional Garo Village headman) of Rongding Awe village under Nangalbibra Police Station in South Garo Hills District.

November 15

The GHSMC took out a public rally in Tura to press for their demand for a separate state to be carved out of Meghalaya. "The struggle for a Garoland state did not start in 1912 but has been a demand since the time of Late Sonaram Sangma, the first Garo political leader from the time of the British rule," said Niman Ch Marak, 'Chairman' of the GHSMC which is leading the separate state demand. A supporter for the Gorkhaland state which is currently being demanded from West Bengal, Joydeep Chetry called on the people of Garo Hills to give their unflinching support for the Garoland demand. "Just as we are fighting for Gorkhaland, so too are the people of Garo Hills fighting for Garoland. We give our support for this movement," said Chetry.

November 17

Meghalaya Government reiterated that the members of banned militant groups should come over ground and take advantage of the rehabilitation programmes of the Government.

Speaking to media persons after holding the meeting of the State Security Commission here on Friday , Chief Minister, Mukul Sangma said "In view of our past experiences, we say them to resort to peace and besides sustaining it, members of the any outfit should withdraw themselves from their organisations and assimilate with the national mainstream." Mukul Sangma added that if the State Government wanted to negotiate with the outfits. Firstly, it has to discuss the matter with Government of India. CM Mukul Sangma also said that even the Union Government had made it clear that there would be no talks with the militant outfits unless they gave up arms. On being asked about the overall law and order situation in Garo Hills, Sangma informed that the Government would strengthen the Police to deal with the challenges of militancy and terrorism. "There will be some intervention and support to Police," Sangma said.

November 18

The 'finance secretary' of militant outfit NSCN-K, Inovi Avika Assumi, was arrested from Demseiniong area in Shillong city in East Khasi hills District.





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