`ISI offered help to militants in Meghalaya`

Garo National Liberation Army said that ISI offered it help to take on Meghalaya.

Shillong: The Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), a militant outfit in Meghalaya, has said that Pakistan`s main intelligence agency and jehadi groups offered it help to take on the Indian state.

"The ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) and several jehadi groups extended help to the GNLA but I refused," GNLA chairman Champion R Sangma told a news agency over the telephone from an undisclosed location.

Sangma, a former deputy superintendent of police, deserted the Meghalaya Police and floated the GNLA due to alleged harassment by his seniors.

The outfit`s cadres are deserters, mostly from the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), the Achik National Volunteers Council (ANVC) and the Liberation of Achik Elite Force (LAEF).

"We (GNLA) are not working against the interest of India but for the cause of Garo Hills within the ambit of the Indian constitution," Sangma said.

He, however, boasted of having several "friends" in China, Thailand and Myanmar besides militant organisations from Nagaland and Manipur who were ready to help the GNLA.

Asked why he floated a militant outfit, Sangma, who was trained as a police officer at the North Eastern Police Academy in Meghalaya, said he was "harassed" by his seniors.

"I submitted many representations to the government and the Meghalaya Police DGP (director general of police) but they never looked into my grievances. So I decided to float the organisation," he said.

The militant group formed in 2007 suffered a major setback last week when its founder and general secretary Novembirth Marak was arrested from Siliguri in West Bengal.

On Friday, five GNLA militants were arrested in Meghalaya`s East Garo Hills district.


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