SHILLONG, July 12 (IANS): Two units of Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) commandos have been deployed in the insurgency-prone area of western Meghalaya, police said Tuesday.
"The CoBRA commandos landed in East Garo Hills district last evening and would soon assist us in our combing operations against the GNLA (Garo National Liberation Army)," B. Kezo, the officiating Meghalaya Police chief, told IANS.
An additional five companies of Border Security Force troopers would soon be deployed in the region, he said.
The CoBRA commandos - a special force raised to tackle the Maoist insurgency in India - will counter the growing GNLA activities in East and South Garo Hills districts, considered to be GNLA's heartland.
Presently, 500 Central Reserve Police Force troopers assist the Meghalaya Police and its Special Weapons and Tactics commandos to tackle the GNLA.
The GNLA, one of the five Garo rebel groups, is fighting for a sovereign 'Garoland'.
More than 10 people, including security personnel, have been killed in the Garo Hills during the last one year by GNLA rebels.
The outfit headed by police officer-turned-outlaw, Champion R.Sangma, had earlier slapped extortion demands ranging from Rs.5 lakh to Rs.1 crore on government officials, ministers, legislators and businessmen.
Sangma has forged a close operational relationship with other northeast-based insurgent groups such as the United Liberation Front of Asom and National Democratic Front of Bodoland.
GNLA's foot soldiers are deserters, mostly from the disbanded Achik National Volunteers Council and the Liberation of Achik Elite Force.
The Garo Hills region is being used as a safe haven for various northeast-based militant groups.