Garo rebel group GNLA declared terrorist outfit

Shillong, Jan 31 (IANS) The Indian government Tuesday declared the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), a rebel outfit operating in western part of Meghalaya, a terrorist outfit under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

‘The government has approved and declared GNLA a terrorist due to its growing terror activities in certain parts of Meghalaya,’ Shambu Singh, joint secretary (northeast) in the union home ministry, told IANS.

The central government had sought the views of the Meghalaya government before declaring the GNLA as an outlawed outfit.

‘Since we have already declared this organisation (GNLA) as terrorist outfit, the government would also soon impose a ban on this organisation on completion of all formalities,’ Singh said.

The GNLA, which is headed by police officer-turned outlaw Champion R. Sangma, has unleashed a reign of terror in the three impoverished districts of Garo Hills in the western Meghalaya.

More than 20 people, including security personnel, have been killed in the Garo Hills in the last one year by GNLA rebels. This month alone, five people were killed while two engineers of the government-run Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited were abducted by GNLA rebels.

The GNLA had earlier slapped extortion demands ranging from Rs.5 lakh to Rs.1 crore on government officials, ministers, legislators and businessmen.