Shillong, July 20: Terming the ‘Operation Hill storm’ launched in 2014 as a turning point of the police fight against militancy in Garo Hills, the outgoing Meghalaya Director General of Police (DGP) Swaraj Bir Singh, who is in the last leg of his 32 years of service in uniform, spoke to The Sentinel on Friday and elucidated on how the collective efforts led to the liquidation of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA).
The GNLA’s reign of terror had even made the morale of the police to nose dive at one point of time; but Operation Hill Storm launched in a systematic manner changed the entire scenario. “Under Operation Hill Storm we gave total autonomy to the district police and the backing of a good intelligence network consolidated our success in the phase 2, 3 and 4 of the operations against the militants”, Singh stated, adding, “We keep reviewing our operational strategies and knew that the spate of surrender was bound to come.”
It really happens when top area commanders and other armed cadres start surrendering before the police. While iterating that the GNLA has been completely wiped out in Garo Hills after the killing of the self styled Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) Sohan D Shira in February this year, the DGP also confided that the recovery of huge catche of GNLA ammunitions from the jungles of Garo Hills was a surprise. Besides sophisticated guns, ammunition, Improvised Explosive device (IED) even Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) and launchers that can hit a helicopter were recovered in the past couple of months. “We knew about their arsenal but it’s the bulk that surprised us,” stated Singh even as he added that it is the people who guided the police to the areas where the arms and ammunitions were stacked. “The fear of the GNLA has come out of their mind and they assisted us in our search for hidden weapons”, Singh added.