TURA, Sep 06: Several dozen former rebels of the banned GNLA outfit, including some of its most senior commanders, in a display of unity and commitment to the cause of peace have held a meeting to denounce recent reports about ‘disillusioned’ rebels taking up arms and returning to the forests for armed insurgency.
A total of 63 former GNLA militants, led by its former deputy commander-in-chief- Zen Robert Ch Marak (Rupanto/ Toding) took part in a special meeting at Asananggre, near Rongram, on Thursday afternoon to discuss recent reports mentioning about some of their cadres rebelling and walking back to the jungles for another round of insurgency.
“A social media post which surfaced recently claiming some of the surrendered GNLA members have gone back to the jungle is totally misleading. It is a dirty trick by some clandestine forces aimed at destabilizing peace. The motive is to create mayhem and lawlessness in the region again,” said Zen Robert, while addressing the gathered former rebels at Asananggre field.
The meeting expressed concern that spreading of such false reports and lies by vested interest persons and groups could result in threat to the lives of the surrendered cadres who are trying to eke out a living as a normal citizen of the state.
Among the 63 former rebels who attended the meet were Hedeo Ch Momin alias Cellopa- the Chokpot southern area commander, Anurag Sangma the former publicity secretary of the outfit, Dalton Sangma the former area commander of Khasi Hills, Ajan Ch Momin (Jimmy) who was the action commander of the rebel group and Philliport D Shira, former northern area commander.
As a first step to contain the spread of the ‘misinformation campaign’, the rebels are planning to file an FIR with police against the people who released the false story about rebels breaking away on social media platform called “Shillong Mail” on Sep 2 with the indication given by the surrendered cadres pointing to an individual in the hierarchy of the outfit as the ring leader behind the false report.
“Instead of encouraging and supporting the surrendered cadres in getting proper rehabilitation and counseling since most of the cadres are yet to receive their rehabilitation packages and monthly stipends, dirty tricks are being played by some clandestine forces to derail the establishment of peace in the Garo Hills region,” stated the GNLA deputy army chief.
The former rebels have passed a resolution seeking those behind the false reports be identified and booked as per the law.
In a move aimed at keeping in touch with each of the former rebels, the Asanang meeting passed a resolution to create a forum comprising of the former rebels as members to check attempts by vested interest groups from trying to create a rift amongst them. To stay connected the rebels have decided to set up a WhatsApp group including all its members.
The members also passed a unanimous decision to petition the government through a memorandum seeking the fulfillment of their pending dues.