Shillong, March 9: The outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) suffered a major setback when its so-called “Foreign Secretary” surrendered on Thursday, police said.
Briyan R. Marak alias Milliam crossed over to India from Bangladesh on Wednesday night between Gausapara and Sibbari in Meghalaya’s South Garo Hills district and surrendered to Abraham Sangma, the district police chief of South Garo Hill.
“It is a huge setback for the GNLA leadership (Sohan D. Shira). We were caught by surprise,” Sangma said.
Marak was arrested on December 15, 2012 by the Rapid Action Battalion for illegally entering Bangladesh without valid travel documents.
Ten months after being released from jail, Marak continue to stay in Bangladesh illegally besides criss-crossing the India-Bangladesh border to meet GNLA cadres in Garo Hills region in Meghalaya.
“Marak told us he decided to give up after realizing that the GNLA fight for a separate Garoland will not succeed besides growing dictatorial attitude of Sohan towards the cadres besides unwanted killings,” Sangma said.
However, the police officer said Marak came overground in the wake of the intensified combing operation launched by Meghalaya Police in Garo Hills.
“They have been under intense pressure and the only option for them was to surrender. We are hopeful more of them will follow suit,” one officer said.
The GNLA, which claims to be fighting for a Garoland in western Meghalaya, is headed by police officer-turned-rebel Champion R. Sangma, who is now in a Shillong jail after being arrested near the India-Bangladesh border in 2012.
The GNLA has forged an alliance with the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent.