From Staff Correspondent
Shillong, June 6: Two top GNLA 'area commanders' today surrendered before Meghalaya DGP Rajiv Mehta along with another trained cadre.
They deposited one HK rifle, one carbine, a foreign-made pistol with nearly ninety rounds of ammunitions.
The cadres confessed about the tie-up between the GNLA and the proscribed United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA).
Although the camaraderie between the two proscribed outfits is well known to the security agencies, one of area commanders, Gabriel D Shira alias Darwin D Shira of West Khasi Hills, said, "The ULFA cadres have been in our training camps in the thick forests of Durama range, but no joint operations have been carried out in the area.
He revealed that during one of the passing-out programmes, an ULFA leader who was identified as the 'deputy commander-in-chief', was present along with the GNLA chief Sohan D Shira.
The ULFA command operating along the Assam-Meghalaya border is the 108 battalion under Manoj Rabha alias Dristi Rajkhowa.
The other area commander who surrendered Walsrang Ch Sangma alias Dalton of Dadengre said that they were forced to come overground due to the intensive operations launched by the security forces, the outfit's lack of ideology and misutilisation of the extorted money by the c-in-c and fince secretary.
Both the area commanders said that a good chunk of the extorted money goes to the high-ups and it is not accounted for.
Gabriel and Walsrang claimed that they met the dreaded GNLA military chief Sohan D Shira during the outfit's annual general council but all decisions are arbitrarily taken, a reason that left them in disillusion.
They said the cadre strength of the GNLA is around 300 and that more cadres wanted to leave the outfit on similar grounds, besides aspiring to lead a peaceful life. Asked on why they could not come overground, Gabriel and Walsrang said, "It's due to fear of Sohan D Shira".
It is alleged that Sohan D Shira is known for his vindictiveness and brutal mentality, especially on the deserters and their families.
While the three surrendered cadres are school drop outs with little knowledge about the cause that they fighting for, yet the State Director General of Police (DGP) Rajiv Mehta said, "It is extremely important for us to see that these misguided elements are shunning the path of violence and looking for peace and prosperity".
"It's not a triumph for us but for the people who long for peace in the State," summed up Mehta.