Garo outfit uses BDO kidnap as ‘trump card’

GNLA asks Govt to stop all counter-insurgency ops in GH;Public rally in Baghmara demands officer’s safe release

This picture released by the GNLA shows the Chokpot BDO in their custody inside a camp somewhere  in Garo Hills on Thursday.
This picture released by the GNLA shows the Chokpot BDO in their custody inside a camp somewhere
in Garo Hills on Thursday.

TURA: The banned GNLA outfit has demanded that the Meghalaya government withdraw its ongoing counter-insurgency operations against them and other rebel groups for the safety of the abducted BDO of Chokpot, Jude Rangku T Sangma, who remains in their custody.
The statement comes on a day when people from all walks of life joined hands with government employees to stage a peace march in Baghmara town calling for the safe and unconditional release of the abducted block officer.
The GNLA’s Garo Mandei Marak, a pseudo name used by the militants to address the media, issued a statement on Thursday demanding that the state government stop the ongoing operations against militant groups in the Garo Hills and withdraw its troops from the jungles of Garo Hills.
“The government must stop and withdraw the operations against us and others within the Garo Hills region immediately this week,” stated Garo Mandei Marak in the communiqué.
At the same time, Hedio Momin alias Karak, the man behind the abduction of the young Meghalaya Civil Service officer, also put out a statement in social media stating that the government will have to end all operations within this week and throughout the coming month of November to ensure the safety of the officer. He also posted a photo of the BDO in their custody.
From the statement issued by the mastermind of the    kidnapping, it is not being ruled out that the ultras plan to hold on to their victim as a deterrent to any government plan to conduct military operations against them in the near future.
The Meghalaya police led operation ‘Hill Storm’ initiated over two years ago to contain the GNLA activities continues till date with several encounters taking place and the banned outfit suffering reverses with loss of cadres and weapons.
The daring kidnap of the BDO is aimed at halting it.
In Baghmara town, hundreds of people, including students and the elderly, walked in unison with government employees appealing for peace and the safe return of the Chokpot BDO.
‘Stop abduction of innocent officials,’ ‘No peace no development,’ ‘Let us live in peace and end bloodshed,’ were some of the placards carried by people at the rally.
In a short meeting at the start of the rally, Deputy Commissioner S.N. Marak said it is high time people united and raised a voice against inhuman activities and frequent abduction of government officials since it hampered the developmental activities and disturbed the working atmosphere of government employees.
Meanwhile, appeals for the release of the BDO continue to flow in from different quarters and groups. The All Meghalaya Civil Service Officers (MCS) of Garo Hills have condemned the abduction of the BDO terming it a dastardly act and demanded his safe and unconditional release immediately.

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