Shillong, March 15: Meghalaya police in Ri Bhoi are working on a police-public partnership to counter the emerging tentacles of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) in the district.
A meeting was held yesterday at the Pilangkata police outpost on the Assam-Meghalaya border where senior police officials from the district sought the cooperation of the locals to prevent the GNLA from camping in the district and spreading terror.
The meeting was attended by Ri Bhoi deputy superintendent of police S. Marshing, Pilangkata outpost in-charge D. Nongrum and several villagers.
It is also perhaps the first time since the formation of the GNLA in late 2009 that the police have come out in the open to interact with locals.
The interaction came against the backdrop of reported intrusion of around 15 GNLA cadres into areas falling within Pilangkata outpost, where six militants had already been apprehended on Monday during the rescue of an abducted Assam businessman, Dinesh Sarma.
In the meeting, the police exhorted the locals not to allow unidentified persons from living in their villages and to immediately report to the concerned authorities if they notice any suspicious movement of such people.
While urging the villagers not to provide shelter to any militant, the police also advised the locals to form village defence parties and intensify vigil in their villages.
It was also agreed that an anti-dacoity camp would be set up within the Pilangkata area to tackle crime.
Ever since the Centre declared GNLA as a terrorist organisation on January 12, the police have been cautioning people against hobnobbing with the group.
On Monday, Ri Bhoi district police arrested six GNLA cadres — Tengrik Ch Sangma, 25, alias Rimpu, Walgrik Marak, 21, Paulus Marak, 17, Maukherji Arengh, 25, Paulektus Momin, 37, and Jerik Sangma, 25. GNLA area commander Hiderson Sangma, however, had a narrow escape after the police barged into Umkrem jungle in Pilingkata.
Ri Bhoi, along the Assam-Meghalaya border, is reportedly the latest refuge of GNLA.