Two-dozen armed cadres of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) are still active in three northern districts of Bangladesh, and operate under the unified command of ULFA.

Arrest of dreaded GNLA commander Nikrak M Sangma on Sunday has totally exposed the “operational nexus” between GNLA and ULFA.

Meghalaya Police On Sunday evening arrested the GNLA commander at Rongara (close to the Bangladesh border) in South Garo hills district in Meghalaya.

Earlier, it was assumed that the GNLA was totally eliminated as an organization with the killing of its commander-in-chief Sohan D. Shira in February 2018.

While Nikrak M Sangma alias alias Kaltush is being interrogated at an undisclosed location, intelligence agencies have confirmed that the GNLA is still active in Sherpur, Mymensing and Netrokona districts of north Bangladesh.

The arrested GNLA commander has reportedly said the cadres of the Garo insurgent outfit now work in tandem with the ULFA.

Also Read – Dreaded GNLA commander Nikrak M Sangma arrested in South Garo hills

The Garo insurgents are working under the operational command of ULFA’s deputy commander-in-chief Drishti Rajkhowa alias Manoj Rabha.

The intelligence agencies are still trying to find out whether the ULFA and the GNLA have any form of operational cooperation with the Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

“We are yet to find any direct link of the ULFA and GNLA with the Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh,” Abraham T. Sangma, superintendent of police of South Garo hills district told Northeast Now on Tuesday.

Out of the two-dozen GNLA cadres in Bangladesh, Nikrak M Sangma alias alias Kaltush was the senior-most member, and he worked in close coordination with ULFA’s deputy commander-in-chief Drishti Rajkhowa.

Nikrak M Sangma had joined the GNLA in 2011, and belonged to the third batch of recruits, and since 2015, he has been based in Bangladesh.

During his stay in Bangladesh for the last four years, Nikrak M Sangma picked up Bengali language, and also worked with a section of criminals in the neighbouring country, the sources said.

Interestingly, whatever the GNLA commander told the interrogators about the links with ULFA in Bangladesh matched with a recent statement by Drishti Rajkhowa’s bodyguard Dewal Jyoti Dutta alias Dior Asom.

Dewal Jyoti Dutta surrendered on October 2 at the Joypur Army Camp in Dibrugarh district.

The ULFA cadre confessed that he underwent three months of arms training in the jungles bordering Meghalaya and Bangladesh. He was trained in arms and explosives.

In addition to Drishti Rajkhowa, even Dewal Jyoti Dutta coordinated with the GNLA cadres and the Bangladeshi criminals as he spoke Garo, Bengali, English, Hindi and Assamese.

Dutta also said the ULFA and the GNLA jointly extort and kidnap people, and the money is divided in 60:40 proportions.

Anirban Roy

Anirban Roy is Editor-in-Chief of Northeast Now. He can be reached at: editor@nenow.in

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