SHILLONG, April 27 � Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) chief, Champion R Sangma is a drunken womaniser.
Ningrang Sangma, who along with twenty other GNLA cadres surrendered before Meghalaya Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh here said, his decision to quit the outfit was taken because of Champion�s abusive and adulterous lifestyle.
�He (Champion) has molested several young village girls. He is a womaniser and a chronic drunkard� I therefore decided to quit the GNLA,� Ningrang, GNLA�s chief training instructor, said at the surrender ceremony at the police reserve today.
Stating, Champion is now in Bangladesh�s capital Dhaka, Ningrang added, the GNLA chief is trying to set up base there. GNLA, he said, has links with the ULFA, which is trying to set up hideouts in Garo Hills.
Ningrang and 19 other cadres surrendered before the Home Minister together with arms and ammunition, including an M-16 rifle, AK-47, 7.62 SLR rifle, colt 45 pistol, two 7.65 pistols and incriminating documents of the outfit. Ningrang said he was able to persuade his young trainees to quit after apprising them about Champion�s misdeeds.
About Sohan D Shira, the GNLA�s military wing chief and the second-in-command of the outfit, the surrendered militant said, Shira has a tight grip over the finance and functions in a shady manner and has therefore amassed huge personal wealth. The police dismiss Shira as a mere �timber smuggler.�
Ningrang first joined the Garo Hills-based militant outfit Achik National Volunteers Council � now under a ceasefire agreement � in 2000 and then left to join the GNLA in 2010 as a trainer. �The GNLA has deviated from its aims and objectives due to greed and selfishness,� Ningrang said.
Meanwhile, the Home Minister welcoming the cadres back to the mainstream of the society said, the misguided youths have taken a �bold decision� to leave the jungle.
�This is bold step taken by you all, because barbarianism has no place in a civil society. There can be no solutions with guns and violence, but through peace and understanding,� he told the cadres at the surrender ceremony.
Promising to give the �best of treatment� to the surrenderees, Lyngdoh, however, did not elaborate about it. �We will provide protection and rehabilitation package to the 20 GNLA cadres. We have not decided what sort of package that would be, but we would give them the best of treatment,� Lyngdoh told journalists.
In December last year, Gregory A Sangma, the GNLA general secretary surrendered before the police. However, today�s surrender is the biggest setback the GNLA has suffered after it was formed a few years back by Champion Sangma, a former Meghalaya Deputy Superintendent of Police.
Since its formation GNLA has been involved in a spate of murder, extortion and kidnapping cases.