Tura, Feb. 15: The Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) has declared that its former finance secretary, Reding T. Sangma, was demoted for breaking the rules of the outfit.
Reding has floated a new outfit — A’chik Songna An’pachakgipa Kotok (ASAK) — which means “vanguards of Garoland”.
He is also part of a conglomeration of outfits — United People’s Revolutionary Alliance (UPRA), which comprises United A’chik Liberation Army (UALA), A’chik National Liberation Army (ANLA) and breakaway faction of A’chik National Volunteers Council (ANVC-B).
ANVC (B) has signed the “agreed text for settlement” on January 5, 2013, and is now conducting peace parleys with the government.
Eastern area commander of the GNLA, Nawal Sangma, said, “Reding deserted us after being appointed the grievance secretary.
He invested Rs 70 lakh belonging to the outfit in the coal and rubber business, which is managed by his new mistress.”
He alleged that Reding used the GNLA’s letterhead and stamps even after his removal from the post of finance secretary and had extorted a huge sum of money from Tura, Baghmara and Nongalbibra.
The eastern area commander also revealed that Reding had murdered his own comrade, identified as Joksret — a youth from Mindikgre — at Paromgre village, believing him to be a police informer. He claimed that no other member of the GNLA had ever executed its rebels.
The militant leader accused the former finance secretary of being a womaniser and claimed that he deserted the outfit only in fear of retaliatory action being taken against him by the outfit’s leadership for his misdeeds.
In a statement, Reding spoke of the reasons behind parting ways with the GNLA’s commander-in-chief, Sohan D. Shira. “We formed the GNLA to fight for Garoland and to protect our people. We wanted to take up the cause of Garos to a higher level. Over the years, GNLA gained in strength until Sohan broke all rules of the organisation and began to take decisions without consulting the other leaders of the group,” said Reding.
He blamed Sohan for the fratricidal killings within the GNLA and for targeting other outfits like the ANVC-B and the Norok X. Momin-led United A’chik Liberation Army. “Unhappy with Sohan’s dictatorship, many members left the organisation,” he said.
Reding accused Sohan of accumulating wealth by extorting money from traders and businessmen of all communities, including Garos.
“Even the government officers were not left alone. They had to pay tax,” said Reding. He even questioned Sohan’s role in the formation of the outfit. “What has he got from the movement?”
Reding claimed that Sohan was making an effort to ink a peace agreement so that he could spend the money he collected.
The new outfit, A’chik Songna An’pachakgipa Kotok, comprises senior members from the GNLA with Jack Marak as its finance secretary.
Its other members are Cheo Challang as chairman, Dilsrang Sangma as deputy commander-in-chief, Dura Matgrik as secretary and Anmisil Marak as joint secretary.