GUWAHATI, Feb 3 � Growing ties between the hard line faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and Garo National Liberation Army have become matter of serious concern for the Government of Meghalaya as well as for the security agencies. However, in recent times, the Meghalaya Government has started taking steps for strengthening its own police force to deal with insurgency.
Highly placed police sources told The Assam Tribune that members of the hard line faction of the ULFA have been providing help to the GNLA for its own benefits. Senior member of the ULFA, Drishti Rajkhowa is now believed to be in the hideouts of the GNLA in the jungles of Garo Hills. Rajkhowa also visits Bangladesh from time to time by taking advantage of the porous international border, but after the crackdown launched by the Government of Bangladesh, he started staying mostly in Garo Hills.
Sources said that as the hard line faction of the ULFA does not have any shortage of sophisticated weapons, it is providing the same to the members of the GNLA. The senior cadres of the ULFA are also providing training to the new recruits of the GNLA and in return, the ULFA is getting a major share of the funds collected by the GNLA.
The GNLA has been mainly targeting the coal traders to boost its own coffer, but the outfit has also been trying to extort money from other traders and even Government officials. The outfit has also been resorting to kidnappings and only last month a block development officer was kidnapped.
Sources said that though the ULFA is getting a portion of the funds collected by the GNLA, the outfit is helping the Garo outfit mainly to keep a corridor open for going to the hideouts in Bangladesh. The ULFA had earlier extended help to the ANVC but after the outfit came over ground, the ULFA started helping the GNLA.
Meanwhile, talking to The Assam Tribune, the Director General of Police, Meghalaya, N Ramachandran said that steps have been taken to strengthen the police force and an all out operation has been launched against the members of the GNLA.
The DGP said that Meghalaya Chief Minister himself took keen interest on strengthening the police force and around 500 new posts have been created. He said that one of the major problems faced by the police was that the distance between the police stations is too much and the government has sanctioned creation of 12 new police stations and outposts. The commandos of the Meghalaya police have also been doing a good job, he added.