Shillong, Nov 3: Four GNLA rebels were arrested Sunday and a major plot to carry out explosions in Meghalaya was foiled by security forces, police said.
Three powerful Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were also seized.
A police spokesperson said four rebels of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) were arrested after their vehicle was intercepted by a team of police and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) commandos from the 12 mile area under Tura police station, the district headquarters of West Garo Hills.
The commandos also seized an AK-47 rifle with 26 rounds of live ammunition, one carbine with three magazines, one 9 mm pistol with two magazines, one 7.65 pistol with three rounds of 7.65 mm ammunition and other incriminating materials from their possession.
“It was a major catch for us and we have foiled their plot to carry out explosions in Tura and attack on police personnel in West Garo Hills in retaliation to Sunday’s raid on the residence of the outfit’s military wing chief Sohan D. Shira,” G.H.P Raju, Inspector General of Police in-charge Operations, told IANS.
“Investigations are on to find out if there could be more rebels who might have sneaked into Tura from other districts,” the official said.
Soon after the police seized Indian currency, Bangladeshi taka, satellite phone and detonators from Shira’s residence, the elusive GNLA chief threatened to carry out retaliatory attacks against security forces.
“GNLA and police officers’ family is also citizen of Garo hills and if police torture the family of GNLA, we will not keep quiet,” Shira had said.
The GNLA, fighting for a separate Garoland, is headed by arrested Champion R. Sangma, a former deputy superintendent of police who deserted the Meghalaya Police owing to alleged harassment by his superiors and floated the GNLA in November 2009.
Sangma was arrested July 30 near the India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya. The state government terminated his services in July 2010.
The outfit, outlawed by the central government, forged an operational alliance with the United Liberation Front of Asom and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, which provided it access to sophisticated arms and ammunition.
GNLA rebels, who number around 100, unleashed terror in three impoverished districts of Garo Hills in the last one year and killed over 35 people, including security personnel.